Sergio Perez has been described as “not the best driver in qualifying” by Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko.
The Mexican could only manage P7 in Zandvoort while his team-mate secured pole by over half a second.
It leaves Perez with work to do for Sunday’s race but Marko has not exactly given him a confidence boost ahead of lights out.
Helmut Marjo criticises Segio Perez qualifying performance
With his P7 spot, Perez has plenty of work to do at a track that can be difficult to overtake. Ahead of him, the McLaren of Lando Norris and Mercedes of George Russell appear to be his biggest obstacles but the Williams of Alex Albon has also shown good pace this weekend.
Speaking about Perez’s qualifying performance, Marko suggested being Max Verstappen’s team-mate was “the worst position to be in” while also criticising team strategy.
“For Checo, they did two warm-up laps,” Marko told Sky Sports Germany.
“I don’t think that was the right choice.
“Besides, being Max’s teammate is the worst position to be in, especially at this moment. Sergio is not the best driver in qualifying, we also know by now.
“Strategically it wasn’t good either, but that was a decision by him and his engineer, how they handled it. That decision was not good and that definitely made a difference.”
As for the race, Marko said “anything is possible” but warned that the nature of the Zandvoort track may make progress difficult.
“Anything is possible here, from sunshine to heavy thunderstorms and fog,” Marko said.
“We are prepared for everything and we were fast in all conditions, so we are not worried about that.
“Overtaking will be difficult here, but I hope Checo will come to the front. The speed that is in the car should make for a better position than P7.
“I think McLaren is the second team behind us, although we were a bit surprised that Hamilton didn’t make it to Q3.
“For us that’s good because McLaren is far behind us in the championship. That is to our advantage and to Perez’s advantage.”
Regardless of what happens today, Perez will remain in P2 in the championship as he trails Verstappen by 125 points while leading Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso by 40.