Jenson Button will start tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix from 11th on the grid after a disappointing qualifying session.
Frome's Button was third fastest in Q1, but made a mistake at the start of Q2 and was later hindered by yellow flags.
“I locked up in the final sector on my first Q2 lap, ran wide and had to go down to first gear – losing quite a lot of time in the process – so I reckon there was easily a couple of tenths that I could have had there," said the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver.
"Then, on my final Q2 run, I lost time because of the yellow flags.
"I knew I could have gained a couple of extra tenths in that final sector, but as things panned out I couldn’t improve because of the yellows.
“It’s just one of those things, but I’ll go forward from here tomorrow.”
Team mate Lewis Hamilton qualified in third, and team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he was encouraged by Button's long-run pace.
Red Bull occupy the front row, with Mark Webber on pole position from Sebastian Vettel.