Mark Webber blamed having no DRS and cold tyres for his disappointing qualifying performance ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Australian will start from sixth position, his worst qualifying since the Chinese Grand Prix, after finishing over six tenths off the pace in the final shootout.
Webber explained after qualifying that he had done the main straight of his final Q3 run without DRS enabled because of an error when activating it.
He had also been held up for Jenson Button during his out-lap, which means his tyres were not at the perfect temperature.
The Red Bull driver said his times after Turn 5 had been the same as team-mate's Sebastian Vettel, on pole today.
"It wasn't the smoothest session," said Webber. "Basically if you look at the last lap, which is the most important one I was very optimistic about doing a pretty good job.
"The problem really started on the out-lap because the McLarens were too slow. We need more pace than that and I couldn't go any quicker because Jenson wouldn't let me pass, which is fair enough. It's all fair game and I would do the same thing.
"Because it was my first lap onto the start/finish with KERS and DRS, it looks like I tried to activate the DRS a bit early and it didn't respond, so I did the whole straight without the DRS and I didn't notice because I used the KERS.
"That, in combination with Jenson, meant my first sector was a complete disaster. And from Turn 5 until the end of the lap it was identical to Sebastian."