For the second race in succession McLaren's Carlos Sainz failed to gain access to the top-10 shootout in qualifying, the Spaniard hindered by a mysterious lack of rear-end grip on his MCL34.
Sainz enjoyed a strong start to the Saturday afternoon session, finishing the opening segment P7 but it was all downhill from there, contrary to McLaren teammate Lando Norris who made the Q3 cut.
"It's been a bit of a difficult weekend for me, never feeling quite the rear end from the car," Sainz explained.
"But apart from that, Q1 was very positive, I was feeling like we could have a good qualifying, and then I just went slower with every set.
"I did a [1m]26.2 on the first set, and then [1m]26.3s, [1m]26.5 and [1m]26.7 at the end. So I just went slower and slower without really knowing why."
"I just felt immediately when I went into Turn 3 I had no rear end in the car. I knew it was going to be a tough lap, and it just snowballed into a disaster."
Sainz felt puzzled by the reverse progress of his car in Q2 and had yet to get to the bottom of the issue with his team.
"Normally you improve half a second from Q1 to Q2, but I managed to lose half a second!
"So it's difficult to explain, and no surprise because we definitely felt very tricky out there. But we need to explain why.
"Tomorrow should be better, but today I'm definitely not happy.
"Today it's time to analyse why today was such a disaster in terms of why the balance of the car was changing so much in qualifying - but also knowing tomorrow is going to be an interesting day and we can move forward."