Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has hailed Max Verstappen for a "super job" at the "critical" moment of qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The reigning F1 champion finished top of qualifying for the first time this season having negotiated a difficult qualifying session littered with red flags and changeable conditions.
Verstappen found space in Q3 to set the fastest time amongst three red flags in the final 12 minutes to deny pre-session favourite Charles Leclerc pole for Ferrari in front of the Tifosi.
On Verstappen's performance, Horner told Sky Sports: "He did a super job. It was an unusual qualifying.
"The one lap that counted was thankfully the one lap that we banked. It looked maybe even at the end there that the circuit might go quick again but it was just too much rain for anybody to respond and then another red flag."
Addressing Perez's struggles, Horner added: "A shame for Checo because I think he would have been up there as well today had he had a clean lap but he had a lock-up.
"That is encouraging for the [sprint] race tomorrow."
Red Bull has been able to switch on its tyres quicker than Ferrari in the opening races of the season and asked if that helped in the cool, damp conditions at Imola, Horner explained: "It was the inverse of that today strangely, the Ferrari looked better at getting the heat in the tyre.
"We were struggling to generate the temperature and it was taking more and more laps but no, I think we managed to find a good balance and Max has nailed a lap at the critical moment."