Sergio Perez has conceded he and Red Bull "played around a little bit too much" with tyre preparation under F1's format trial at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Mexican broke his miserable run of five races without a Q3 appearance but could only finish ninth-fastest at the Hungaroring.
F1 and Pirelli enforced an 'Alternative Tyre Allocation' trial for the weekend which sees two fewer sets of tyres provided per car, with Hards mandated for Q1, Mediums for Q2 and Softs for Q3.
This led to a number of different programmes in practice, as well as tyre preparation angles, and Perez suggested his side of the garage got it wrong in the final part of qualifying.
"We showed very strong pace at times," Perez told media including RacingNews365.
"Unfortunately, with this format, we just played around a little bit too much with the tyre prep. I had a bad first sector, so without that I should have been P4.
"But never mind, I believe we have a good race car."
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Never easy after mistakes
Perez's weekend got off to the worst possible start with a crash inside the opening five minutes of first practice.
Red Bull was forced to repair the RB19 ready for FP2, where Perez lost his qualifying simulation run when locking up on his Soft tyres.
But he was resurgent in FP3, Q1 and Q2 to almost match teammate Max Verstappen, before falling away in Q3.
On his comeback, Perez explained: "It is never easy because you don't want to do those sorts of mistakes.
"But the way I saw it, you cannot really look back, only look forward and learn from it and put everything behind.
"It's been a good weekend. When you look at the margins, a few tenths really change your life.
"But I am optimistic and it only matters where we finish [in the race]."