Lewis Hamilton has conceded that he expected more from the Bahrain GP qualifying hour after FP3 improvements failed to translate into qualifying pace.
The Mercedes driver could only manage a P7 result during qualifying, falling behind teammate George Russell in the process.
With Mercedes also qualifying behind Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso, the two Red Bulls and the two Ferraris, the team will be hoping for a greater showing in the Grand Prix.
"I went in with an open mind," Hamilton commented to Sky after being asked about his qualifying expectations.
"We did a lot of work overnight with the engineers, and we did a great job and made a step forward. The car was feeling much more alive this morning, and all of a sudden we were in a different place today.
"But when we got to qualifying, the car just didn't come alive. It felt kind of average.
"A six tenths [gap], you can't catch that. We were about six tenths behind last year, but we had all the bouncing and all sorts of things, so it's not impossible."