Mark Webber admitted he was mystified the 0.78s gap to his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel in qualifying - after the German world champion stormed to pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.
Webber who also lost out to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton as well in Q3 said afterwards that he was disappointed to be only third on the grid for his home race.
"I couldn't do the times today," he said, "I was disappointed with my performance.
"Sebastian [Vettel] put in a good lap and I'm disappointed to get bumped off the front row. Mystified by the gap to Sebastian, and I'll have to look at where I can improve. The guys have done a great job - not the best job from me but the bar has been raised.
"Today didn't go to plan. It was absolutely serious, we put everything forward and I wasn't in the fight for pole so I need to address that and take it into tomorrow's race.
"The most important thing out of today is to see potential of the car," he added. "The team has done a phenomenal job, looking forward to tomorrow, we will learn a lot - as we have learned a lot today.
"We got a snapshot today of what we might expect, there are still some questions but not as many, we have had a reasonable build up of testing. The team has got some good data to lean on to go into the grand prix tomorrow and put that all there..."
Webber did not rule out the possibility of winning in front of his home crowd but admitted that it would be more difficult starting from the second row.
"It's never impossible," he said, "but unfortunately I have let Lewis on the front row as well, it is a long season, today you can get disappointed of course but we will go into tomorrow's race trying to get best result possible."
After qualifying Red Bull team principal Christian Horner indicated that he had been surprised by the large gap between his two drivers.
"It was a great performance by Seb and a great start to the season, but it's difficult to understand where the time between the two of them is, particularly in the last sector," he told the BBC.
"There is nothing obvious, particularly in the last sector there has been a difference between of them so we need to have a look at the data to see why. It was phenomenal couple of laps that Sebastian has produced there.
"I think we are in good shape," he added. "Great to start the new season from pole."
Neither Red Bull driver used his KERS during qualifying and while Vettel indicated that his system had not been fully charged, Webber declined to elaborate on it.