Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko has revealed the team's plan for Max Verstappen in Sprint Shootout was "left in tatters" by a track limit violation for the Dutchman.
Verstappen went out early in SQ3 for the Qatar Grand Prix to set two flying laps but saw his initial lap taken away for straying across the white line early in his effort.
Proceedings were complicated by late track changes to combat safety fears raised by Pirelli after overnight analysis of the tyres, with track limits narrowed at Turns 12 and 13.
"After the lap was taken [away], our plan was already in tatters," Marko told ORF when reviewing the session.
"Then it was a last-minute rescue."
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Enough for the championship
Verstappen will become a three-time F1 champion with a top-six finish in the Sprint and his effort to recover to third on the grid has put him in prime position.
"That's enough for the championship," added Marko.
"We also have to see if McLaren can maintain this pace, but yesterday they were already very fast.
"It's not easy to overtake here either, but let's see what the tyre situation is like, that will be decisive.
"We would of course like to win here, but a podium here is also good."