Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat admits his future in Formula 1 might not be "bright" if he cannot reverse his current form slump.
The Russian finished on the podium in China in the third grand prix of the season, but lost his Red Bull drive to Max Verstappen after the next race.
Since joining Toro Rosso, Kvyat has scored just two points, with new team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr scoring 26 in the same period.
After qualifying 19th for the German Grand Prix, which will become 18th after Romain Grosjean's grid penalty, in a "shit session" Kvyat conceded he had to reverse the slump to remain in F1, especially given Red Bull's ruthless attitude.
"It's looking very bad now, and if it continues like this then I don't think anything bright is ahead," he said.
"I just need to get things going, and once I do that, then it will be fine.
"It's not like I'm having the most pleasant time in the world, it's not easy, but it's not an excuse.
"Everyone has hard times. If you're good, you come out of it, if you're not good enough, you just die."
Kvyat said even F1's summer break, and the scope to get away and understand the situation, might not be enough.
"I don't know what I need," he said.
"I just need a feeling with the car. I don't have it at the moment.
"When it comes back it should be much better. I can't remember the last time I had a good feeling with any car, so I don't know what's going on.
"It seems like my window of working is very narrow. I need to work on expanding on it, but it's not easy."
Kvyat was ninth and 12th in the opening two practice sessions, in what he described "a good Friday for the first time in a while".
But on Saturday afternoon he was six tenths and seven places behind Sainz in Q1, qualifying between the Manors.
"I can't say it's just oversteer or understeer, it's a combination of things," he said.
"It's different balance issues in a different part of the corner that makes me lose confidence, and I just need to understand where to put it, to shuffle it around, and the right moments will come.
"I've nearly always found solutions, and that's what I will work on. I feel like a solution is not far away, even if it looks really bad on paper.
"The pace was better on the Friday on long runs, I've not much to lose anyway, so I will try to go for it tomorrow.
"I just don't have any feeling in the car at the moment, and I know when I have a feeling with the car there are not many drivers who can beat me.
"But I don't have the feeling so I am very easy to beat at the moment. This is how it is."