Carlos Sainz has conceded to being "puzzled" by the pace of Max Verstappen after being bested by over six-tenths in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard will start from pole position at Spa Francorchamps after his Red Bull rival was handed a back-of-the-grid penalty for using power unit components beyond the prescribed limit for the season.
But his one-minute 44.297secs fell 0.632s short of Verstappen's session-topping effort leaving Sainz scratching his head for answers.
"I'm happy to be starting on pole," said Sainz. "Obviously, I'm not so happy to see the gap to Max this weekend and the gap that Red Bull has on us.
"We need to keep digging to see why Red Bull is so fast around this track and why we are trailing them.
"But pole is a good place to start and we will try and win from there tomorrow."
Sainz's second run saw him get tangled with the two Alpine drivers on his out lap before receiving a last-minute tow from team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Describing the run as "a bit of a mess", Sainz added: "Luckily enough the first lap was good enough for P2 which I knew was going to give me the pole.
"But I'm a bit puzzled to see this big gap to Max and the big gap to Red Bull which makes me wonder what is going to happen in the race because I think our race pace is a bit better than our quali pace, but there's definitely something there to find."