Kimi Raikkonen is confident that Ferrari is now closing on the frontrunners, despite the misjudgement that left him mired in 16th on the Spanish Grand Prix grid.
The former world champion - who won at Catalunya last year - had a poor first lap in Q1 and then decided against a second run, believing that even his disappointing initial time would be sufficient to reach Q2.
But instead he was pushed back to 16th and eliminated from the session.
"I thought that we were going to get through," Raikkonen said. "It was maybe a bit tight on the time, but we didn't want to waste laps.
"But we didn't get through. It was a silly mistake because the car was much better here than before. But that's how it goes."
He said it had been partly his own decision not to go out again.
"I wasn't keen to go. I knew that the lap wasn't very good but I that maybe we should get through still," said Raikkonen. "In the end it doesn't matter whose mistake it was, it was just a silly mistake and we paid the price for it.
"In the morning we were much faster. I just didn't get a very good lap. If I'd done a better lap we wouldn't be in this situation, but it's too late now.
"(The media) can blame me if they want, I don't mind. It's a mistake and we can't take it away. We'll just try to do the best job we can tomorrow and try not to do the same at the next race."
Raikkonen explained that his main frustration was that he had not been able to show how much the Ferrari had improved since Bahrain.
"I'm more disappointed because the car is much stronger here than before and we would have had a good chance to fight for a good position," he said. "But we'll try to do the best we can.
"Of course here it's not very easy to overtake so it all depends on what happens at the start and how the first few laps go. We'll do what we can and hopefully we can still score some points."
With his team-mate Felipe Massa fourth on the grid, Raikkonen believes it is only a matter of time before Ferrari is fighting for victory again.
"We are still a bit behind, I would say, but it's much stronger than it was before," he said.
"It's more or less what we expected, but other people have also gone forward. It's only the first step, so we can get some more for the next races. After that, for sure we can catch them up even if it takes a little while.
"If we just look at what happened today, for sure the car now has the potential to score much better results and we're going in the right direction.
"So we still have a little way to go to catch up to the front guys, but we can catch them and definitely challenge them.
"I don't know if we can tomorrow or not, but in the later races we can definitely fight for wins, podiums and good positions."