Sergio Perez missed out on a spot in Q3 by a mere hundredth of a second at Imola, but the Racing Point driver will at least have the benefit of a free tyre strategy for Sunday's Emilia Romagna GP.
Perez concluded Q2 P11, just 0.10s adrift from McLaren's Carlos Sainz. However, the Mexican believes a set-up geared towards race day that cost him a bit of pace in qualifying could pay dividends on Sunday.
"I’m disappointed to be starting in P11, especially because the margins out there in qualifying were so tight and just a hundredth would have meant a place in Q3," Perez said.
"But on the positive side, I’d rather start in P11 than P10. It means we have a free tyre choice and that may turn out to be an advantage for us. I
"I think with hindsight, we probably set the car up more towards the race and that compromised us in qualifying, but hopefully that means we will have a strong car tomorrow."
Racing Point currently sits third in the Constructors' standings ahead of McLaren and Renault. The latter gained an upper hand over its rivals in qualifying on saturday, courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo.
Perez and teammate Lance Stroll who qualified just P15 will need to dial in a charge at the outset to ensure that Racing Point can hold its own at the end of the day.
"It’s hard to know what to expect tomorrow because data is more limited than usual," commented team boss Otmar Szafnauer.
"Overtaking won’t be easy, so that puts extra pressure on a strong opening lap. From there we will try and use the strategy to bring both cars into the points."