Felipe Massa blamed his car's balance with fuel onboard for his failure to fight for a stronger position in qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix.
"I think it's more the balance of the car with low fuel," said Massa after finishing in seventh position.
"In Q1 and Q2 it was quite good, with good balance and good grip. And then when I put the fuel in the car I just lost the balance. The car began to oversteer and it was a bit difficult to drive. So, it was difficult to put a lap together. I think that's the only explanation."
The Ferrari driver has won in Istanbul for the last three years, having started from pole position in all three races. His qualifying streak came to an end today, however, and he reckons his streak of victories is also likely to finish tomorrow.
"Even the podium won't be easy, so we need to think about good points," he added. "Starting seventh you are not in a position to say that you are going to fight for victory.
"We need to think about scoring good points and if there's something else it's always welcome."
Massa, whose team has shown good progress in the last two races, denied today's qualifying result was a setback for Ferrari.
"No, for sure not. We keep working to improve the situation. If you look at the beginning of the championship until now, we have improved a lot. We need to keep pushing hard to really bring the team into a competitive level. It's not a setback."
He added: "For sure we have made a small step forward, but maybe the others as well. So I think maybe we are still more competitive compared to a few teams, but Red Bull and Brawn are still better than us. Not so much, but a little bit that makes a good difference in the end."