Mark Webber admitted Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel was untouchable in Singapore Grand Prix qualifying.
The Australian looked as though he may threaten for pole position when the German refrained from attempting a second flying lap in Q3.
However, after matching Vettel in the first two sectors, a disappointing end to the lap consigned Webber to fourth on the grid - behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean's Lotus.
He subsequently admitted that he had not been expecting to realistically challenge for pole.
When asked what caused him to drop time in the final sector, Webber replied: "Nothing really, it was fine.
"Seb's pretty much owned the last sector on the options the whole weekend. He's been very, very strong in [Turns] 20 and 21.
"I didn't think I was going to challenge him for pole."
Webber admitted he was hoping for more than fourth on the grid, but conceded the likes of Rosberg and Grosjean had done a better job.
"I'm disappointed with fourth, but that's where we ended up," said Webber.
"It's quite tight, there were a few good laps from a lot of people.
"[Starting on the] second row, we can do something from there.
"It'd be nice to have been on the front row, but we're not."