Fernando Alonso was left lamenting the timing of the yellow flags at the end of qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver was forced to slow down during his final flying lap as there were yellow flags at Spoon curve following a spin by Kimi Raikkonen. That meant Alonso was unable to improve his time when he looked set for fourth place on the grid.
"What can I say, other than get angry about being unlucky? The yellow flags came at the worst possible moment, when I was coming into Turn 14," said Alonso. "Up until then, my lap was great and there was every chance of setting the fourth fastest time of the day, which would have then seen me start from third on the grid.
"From there, the race could have taken on a completely different picture, but we have to accept what happened. We were unlucky today, so maybe we'll be lucky tomorrow."
Alonso, currently leading the championship by 29 points from pole man Sebastian Vettel, will start the race from sixth position. The two-time champion is predicting a difficult race given Ferrari's form this weekend.
"We are up against some very strong opponents, like Red Bull who are in front and there is also McLaren who are behind, so we will have to keep an eye on both sides of the track.
"I'm expecting a difficult Sunday. The main aim will be to finish – reliability is crucial – and bring home a good points haul. We changed a few things on the car compared to yesterday, but after FP3 we went back on our settings as we were not convinced about the changes.
"I am honestly more optimistic for tomorrow than I was for today, given that our race pace is usually better than our performance over a flying lap. Let's hope that really turns out to be the case."