Logan Sargeant says the deletion of his first hot lap in Q1 triggered the frustrations that led to an incident-laden qualifying session for the Williams rookie.
Sargeant's early effort would have actually allowed him to make the Q2 cut, but crossing the pit lane entry line at the end of the lap was a transgression left the stewards with no other choice but to delete the young American's time.
Frustrated, Sargeant then spun on his second attempt at Jeddah's high-speed Turn 22, an error for which the Williams charger was lucky to suffer no consequence.
With the clock ticking and pressure mounting, Sargeant fumbled his third and final attempt after hitting a kerb - again at Turn 22 - that damaged his car's floor.
Sargeant owned up to his clumsy mistake on his first flying lap but wondered why the misdemeanor went unnoticed in free practice
"It was in the event notes to not cross the pit entry line, so it's on me," he told F1 TV. "I feel like we need to do a better job of policing it in free practice to use it as a reference.
"I did exactly that run all weekend and [this time] it gets deleted, so that's a bit frustrating.
"On the positive side, the car was super quick and I felt really good. Obviously I made a couple of mistakes but that's just details. I'm disappointed in myself to not put a lap together for the team.
"But it is what it is. Onwards and upwards. It's not a mistake I want to make. I was up on my first lap and I didn't need to push as hard as I did trying to find every last 100th.
"It caught me out and put a lot of pressure on the last lap, which I didn't deliver."
Without a lap time to his name in the session, Williams was forced to request a special dispensation to allow Sargeant to take part in Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
After hearing the American's case and the team's defense, the stewards logically granted Sargenat permission to race.
"The car is quick, we have a lot of straight-line speed and fortunately it can be a crazy race here in Jeddah and there can be a lot of positions to pick up," concluded Sargeant who will start Sunday's race dead last, three positiosn behind his Williams teammate Alex Albon.
"Although I’ve given myself a lot more work than I needed to, I’m quite optimistic about tomorrow and I’ll make it up to the team."
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter