Sergio Perez has conceded Red Bull "screwed up" the Sprint Shootout strategy.
The Mexican will start the Sprint from eighth on the grid after struggling for pace in SQ3, despite improving upon his performance from Friday's qualifying effort.
Perez now faces a fight for points in the 19-lap race at the Lusail International Circuit, where teammate Max Verstappen needs just a sixth-place finish from third on the grid to secure his third consecutive World Championship.
Reviewing his session, Perez said: "It was going well on the Medium but as soon as we went on the Soft, we didn't have the right strategy and we had the tyres in a very bad state.
"We actually went slower with the Soft tyre, so not good at all, we should have been a lot better but unfortunately, we screwed up a bit."
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Focus on second
Perez's focus has turned recently to fending off Lewis Hamilton in the race for second in the Drivers' title.
The Mercedes driver endured struggles of his own to miss out on SQ3, providing Perez with a chance to stretch his advantage with a score.
On his Sprint prospects, he explained: "If we are able to get some points, that will be good enough because I do expect overtaking to be very difficult, especially with the track conditions."