Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was unimpressed with how social media reacted to his criticism of AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda delivered after qualifying in Mexico City, insisting the online community "exploited" his comments.
Horner pinned Red Bull's underperformance in the Saturday afternoon shootout on an off-rack excursion by the Japanese driver at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez's Turn 11 that derailed the qualifying attempts of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen.
After the session, an annoyed Horner said his drivers had been "Tsunoda'd" by the AlphaTauri charger's maneuver.
However, it later transpired that Tsundoa had deliberately taken to the run-off are in order not to impede the efforts of both Perez and Verstappen.
But in the interim, Horner's criticism had triggered a raging backlash from the Twitter-sphere, which accused Red Bull of undermining its young driver's confidence.
"I think if you look into the context of what is said, and with these things, unfortunately social media has a habit of picking on certain lines and then exploiting them," said Horner, quoted by Motorsport.com.
"I think it would be a pretty boring world if you are unable to comment on the performance of a driver."
Horner eventually corrected his initial assessment of Tsunoda's move when told that the Japanese rookie had in fact done his best to put himself out of the path of the oncoming Red Bull cars.
The Briton nevertheless suggested that the AlphaTauri pitwall should have perhaps informed its driver earlier of the presence of the fast-approaching bulls.
"I think having had a chance to consider, I think in fairness to Yuki perhaps he could have been helped a bit more, with more information," explained Horner.
"The outcome was unfortunate, particularly as he was only there to give a tow for his teammate. But it is what it is.
"In the end, it worked out okay, because starting on the second row worked out fine for us."