Timo Glock blamed traffic issues for failing to make it past Q1 ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
"It's frustrating to miss out on second qualifying when I was only sixth tenths away from the fastest lap of the session," said the Toyota driver, who will start from a disappointing 16th position.
"We looked quite promising this morning but we didn't transfer all of that speed to qualifying, and I wasn't helped by traffic.
"On my last lap on the soft tires another car went straight on at the chicane and I had to follow him, which destroyed my lap. I had the potential to qualify higher but if you lose a little bit of time like that it is very costly.
"It will be tough in the race tomorrow but we will work on a strategy to make up some places and do our best as always."
His teammate Jarno Trulli reached Q2 but was then unable to move into the top-10 knockout. The Italian was still pleased with his performance, although he admitted 11th place was far from ideal.
"I am happy with my lap in second qualifying because that was the maximum we could get out of the car," he said. "Of course it is not satisfying to be 11th and it's extremely disappointing to miss out on the top 10 right at the end of the session like that.
"I would have been really happy to be in the top 10 considering the performance in practice, which suggested it would be a tough qualifying for us. It is going to be hard tomorrow but 11th is not far away from the top eight so we need to fight and try to bring home some points."