Sebastian Vettel will start the Spanish GP from 10th place after suffering a gearbox problem at the start of Q3.
Should the team decide that the gearbox needs to be changed for the race he could yet drop a further five places.
“I’m quite disappointed today,” said Vettel. “I didn’t get much time at all this weekend in the car. Obviously a gearbox issue stopped us running in Q3.
“I left the garage and I lost drive in second gear. Obviously it was clear there was a problem, but I still had third gear, so I thought OK I’ll manage the lap without second gear. Unfortunately then by Turn One I lost all the other gears.
“There’s not much I can do. Of course it’s a bit disappointing, and by now a bit boring. We’ve had all sorts of problems. We still managed to get into Q3, so we’re 10th I guess. Still anything can happen tomorrow, hopefully there’s no damage to the gearbox.”
Vettel said his lack of running on Friday was expensive: “I think I needed more and more laps, I was getting more and more in the rhythm. Obviously I missed yesterday. I thought it would be worth shooting for P3, I think that’s what we have in the car, but we never got that far.
“Tricky conditions today, I think everybody is running out of tyres towards the end of the lap. You’re never 100% happy. We had a good shot, probably, to what the car could do today. P3 was probably our maximum.”