Lewis Hamilton said his McLaren team is simply not quick enough after having to settle for a place on the third row of the grid for tomorrow's German GP.
"It's what I've been telling you for a long, long time and no one believed it: We are the third team at the moment and just not fast enough," said Hamilton, who will start from sixth position after finishing nearly a second behind pole-setter Sebastian Vettel.
"But we keep pushing and we do the best job we can," added the championship leader.
Hamilton said he was not surprised by the pace of the cars in front of him.
"No. I never expect to be sixth, for sure, but I've been saying for a long time that generally we are the third fastest team and today the two teams in front did a better job," he said.
"And my lap wasn't fantastic, but that's the way it is.
"My qualifying pace was quite poor, to be honest. I don't think it was great, but I did the best job I could."
The McLaren driver is now hoping to benefit from his car's better race pace to score good points tomorrow.
"I'm going to keep pushing. Tomorrow we need a good start, a clean first lap, and I'll try to score many points tomorrow."
Hamilton qualified behind team-mate Jenson Button, fifth today.