Paul di Resta believes that traffic on his out-lap prevented him from fighting to make the top 10 on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.
The Force India driver had to settle for 15th on the grid after he was unable to join teammate Nico Hulkenberg in getting through to Q3. However, the Scot explained that his out-lap was heavily disrupted by traffic, preventing him from getting his tires up to temperature for the start of his run.
"I'm obviously disappointed to qualify where we are," said di Resta. "The last run for me, I had a terrible out-lap with traffic and I had to back off.
"It was looking quite strong [after the first run] but we made a bit of a mistake letting me out there [in traffic]. I think I had to let about six cars through, I had to go off line as they were on timed laps and, unfortunately, you are not building the loads as we needed [in the tire]. As a consequence, I had no temperature in my tires and if you're not switching them on – it's quite cool at this time of day and we weren't getting many laps in."
Di Resta added that he took heart from the fact that Force India seemed to make some progress with its VJM05 between free practice and qualifying.
"There is an aspect of the car that looks reasonably strong if we can get it together," he said. "[Hulkenberg's time] was encouraging, but we've got a bit of work to do because it was quite difficult to achieve that.
"We understand what we are trying to do and achieve so that is the main thing. I think we can improve again because we have certainly improved from Barcelona testing."