Felipe Massa blamed the set of tyres he used for his final Q2 attempt for failing to make the top 10 shoot-out in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
The Ferrari driver qualified 11th but will actually start 10th on the grid, thanks to Nico Hulkenberg's gearbox penalty.
Nevertheless the Brazilian was convinced he and the car were capable of far more than that this weekend.
"Actually I was very happy with the car all the time and doing great laps on prime or whatever tyres I was using," said Massa. "And then I get through to Q2, and I had a [set of] scrubbed soft, and I was fifth.
"I scrubbed a new set and everybody was improving by a minimum of half a second. When I arrived in corner one I didn't have grip for the whole lap. I'm sure it was a problem with the second set of tyres because I never had those problems with all the tyres on Friday.
"The car was very good to drive, but then the car was just very different. I'm disappointed because today it was easy to get to Q3 and it was possible to start in the top five."
Asked what he thought the problem with the tyres was, Massa replied: "I have no idea, the only thing I know is that I had no grip at the front. It wasn't happening in any of my attempts before, the car was good.
"I even increased in grip from the hard to the soft, so I think it was a problem with the set.
"It is frustrating you know because it was the most important time to have this problem."
Massa hoped that having the choice of which tyre to start on, having not participated in Q3, will give him an advantage in the race.
"I think it is important to have fresh tyres all the time," he said. "I hope this can be a good advantage but I don't know, we need to wait and see how it's going to be with strategy for everyone around.
"If you start on the soft and go to the hard and use two sets of hards, then everybody's doing that, everybody has no hards so it doesn't change anything. So we need to understand what is going to be the right strategy."