Sebastian Vettel believes Renault's software upgrades failed to provide the boost Red Bull needed in German Grand Prix qualifying.
Formula 1's reigning champion team was optimistic that its engine supplier's new package would help bring it closer to Mercedes at Hockenheim, but instead Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel ended up on row three in qualifying - beaten by both Williams and the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen.
Asked if the new Renault software had not worked, Vettel replied: "I don't think as much as we were hoping for.
"We had an update on the car, but it didn't bring us as much as it was supposed to."
Ricciardo was more positive about Renault's upgrades, suggesting the problem was more the pace of Mercedes' improvement.
"I think we are getting a bit out of it - our speedtrap stuff is not as bad as it has been in previous races, so we are getting a bit out of it," he insisted.
"But Mercedes is still improving. They came out of the box strong but it is not like they will rest there, they will keep finding improvements, so we need to double that just to see some results really."
The Australian ended up outqualifying Vettel by three tenths of a second despite trailing him through Q1 and Q2.
Vettel put this down to a poor final lap on his part.
"I think it was generally better than this morning, I was fairly happy," he said.
"On the last run we just didn't seem able to be able to go with the track, I didn't get a smooth lap and didn't improve."
Ricciardo reckoned he had improved through qualifying as well.
"Throughout qualifying I was not too comfortable, struggling a little bit, and I knew I had to pull something out in Q3," he said.
"We tweaked the wing a little bit and tried different tyre pressures and it gave me a bit more confidence to get a few more tenths out of it."