During the closing stages of Q3, Hamilton appeared to slow down significantly, forcing the Red Bull duo to do the same.

With Hamilton backing off, Verstappen crossed the start-finish line to start his final lap with just a couple of seconds to go, while Perez didn’t in time.

The top three failed to improve on their final runs to hand Lewis Hamilton his 101st career pole position.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after qualifying, Horner described Hamilton's actions as “a bit of gamesmanship”.

“Not really,” Horner added. “I mean it’s a bit of gamesmanship. Lewis had a hell of a lap in the bank and he’s just backing things up as he doesn’t want to give our cars a clean run but it’s his right to do that, he’s got the track position. We’ve not got a major issue, it’s all about tomorrow.”

He was then asked if Red Bull would have done the same, where he replied: “I think we’d have focused more on the preparation of our tyre because his lap time was nowhere near his qualifying time. He was obviously more interested in what was going on behind but that’s part of the game.”

While Horner feels Mercedes had the advantage at the Hungaroring, he thinks Verstappen was compromised in Q3 by driving too closely to the back of Charles Leclerc.

“I think Mercedes have been quick all weekend here, we’ve seen that,” Horner added. Max’s time in Q2 looked pretty impressive. I think in Q3 maybe he got a little bit of turbulence from Charles Leclerc - he was within three and a half seconds.

“That was as good as we had today. Second row, we’ve got a different strategy to the Mercedes ahead and that’s going to make it an exciting race tomorrow.”