Verstappen complained “I have no power” on his team radio while qualifying second and seeing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc earn pole position.

“It wasn’t actually power, in the end,” Red Bull team principal Horner told Sky.

“It was the DRS which didn’t open. Obviously we need to get the car back to understand. It opened on the back straight.

“I don’t think we had enough today to beat the lap from Charles.

“I am still pleased with the front row start.”

Horner said about Verstappen and Leclerc’s battle in Sunday’s race: “Charles has carried a new set of soft tyres into the race tomorrow so that is strategically interesting.

“In these temperatures it will all be about tyre deg and tyre management.”

Horner was asked if Ferrari had solved their tyre issues and said: “They had a long run with both cars because they were obviously concerned overnight and they didn’t look too bad.

“We are very, very evenly matched.”

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Mercedes’ George Russell will be behind Leclerc and Verstappen on the front row.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez was forced to settle for fifth and said: “It was just Sector 1. Checo didn’t quite nail it. If you look at his theoreticals, he was fourth. These are such fine margins. He will race OK from there.”

Verstappen vs Leclerc at F1 Spanish GP - will tyre management be key?

World champion Verstappen told Sky: “The last two races we seemed pretty decent on the tyres.

“Tomorrow it will be very tough, very warm, and on this track it will be difficult to pass. 

“Hopefully our car will be a bit kinder on the tyres.”

Leclerc said: “I am in a strong position to win the race but we have been struggling with tyres in the past two races compared to Red Bull, and Max is just behind.

“If we don’t manage the tyres well, we will lose our win. So we need to get on top of it and do a good job with tyre management.

“I hope we can do a 1-2 with Carlos, it would be great for the team.”

Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz added: “I think the key will be, at the start, and the tyre management. 

“We will do our best to get ahead from the start and lead from there.”