Helmut Marko believes that Max Verstappen could have claimed pole position in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix had it not been for a problem with his car set-up.
Verstappen made an error on his single flying lap in Q3, a session which was disrupted by a red flag after George Russell spun off the track and beached his Mercedes in the gravel.
When the session resumed, the increasingly wet conditions meant that nobody was able to improve on their times set in the earlier part of Q3, resulting in Kevin Magnussen clinching a surprise debut pole for Saturday's Sprint race.
Verstappen will start from P2 – with Russell in third – and Marko thinks that things still look promising for the Dutchman.
Marko explains issue for Verstappen
"A lot is still possible," Marko told Sky Sports Germany.
"We suffered a lot of understeer and we could not solve that with the set-up.
"We know Max doesn't like understeer, but without the braking he would have taken pole position."
Marko expects Verstappen to have the pace to get ahead of Magnussen in Saturday's Sprint.
"We are clearly faster than the Haas," the Austrian said.
"Magnussen is a tough fighter, competing with everyone. Max goes for it, but without too much risk.
"I think he's just going to take the win in the Sprint on Saturday."
Viewed by others:
Perez's efforts affected by Leclerc
As for Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez, the Mexican will start from P9, ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc gambled on Intermediate tyres during the earlier stages of Q3, a move that backfired for the Monegasque.
Perez found himself behind the Scuderia driver on track during his only flying lap, and consequently was unable to get past him.
"Obviously their tyre choice was wrong," Marko said of Ferrari's strategy.
"We told Perez to overtake Leclerc or create distance. Then he was told that Ferrari would go in, but of course we cannot predict what Ferrari plans and does.
"As a result, he was stuck behind Leclerc..."
Video: How do F1 sprint races work?
It will be the third and final Formula 1 sprint race of the season in Brazil. We've put together a handy refresher to explain how the weekend differs slightly from the usual format.