Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher endured a frustrating day in the wet at Silverstone and will start Sunday's British Grand Prix in 13th place on the grid.
The 42-year-old Mercedes driver - who won here in 1998, 2002 and 2004 - blamed his mediocre showing on his decision to go out on the track too early.
"Qualifying did not go totally right today owing to the uncertain weather situation," said Schumacher.
"In order to not risk driving in the rain, we went out rather early, which simply turned out to be too early."
Schumacher was left to go out on a late lap in the second part of qualifying to try and progress but missed out by just 0.1sec.
"On my last lap, the tyres were unfortunately already gone and, especially in turn six, I suffered understeer which cost me the time to make it into the top ten."
Earlier in the week, the German insisted he would complete his three-year 'comeback' deal with Mercedes by driving again next season.
His teammate Nico Rosberg came away feeling equally disappointed after qualifying ninth.
The 26-year-old Mercedes driver had expected to qualify higher up the order but he too blamed the unpredictable weather conditions for ruining his chances of a higher grid position.
"We have made good progress with our technical package this weekend," he said. "But P9 is not the best that we could have achieved today."
"At the end of Q2, I was in fifth place, but on my final lap in Q3, the track was wet in turn 15 and I just couldn't improve in that final sector."
However, German Rosberg suggested that he expects to be in a better position by the end of the race.
"With the pace of the car, hopefully we can make up some places in the race tomorrow."