Carlos Sainz expects the Qatar Grand Prix will be "tricky" after making a mistake that put him P12 on the grid.
The Spaniard made a shock exit in Q2 when he failed to put a lap together, following an off-track moment during his timed lap at Turn 5.
He was subsequently put under investigation by the stewards for "erratic driving" after nearly colliding with Max Verstappen while they were both on out-laps.
"I had a very difficult qualifying right from the beginning, just struggling quite a bit with the balance, which was very loose," he told F1 TV.
"In practice I managed to switch on the tyres and get decent grip on this new surface, this afternoon I just couldn't find any grip out there so I just struggled quite heavily."
Viewed by others:
Sainz expects better Sprint day
Sainz is now setting focus on recovering during the Sprint Shootout, which will determine the grid for the Sprint race on Saturday.
"I can turn it around for tomorrow, the Sprint, and have another better Saturday," said Sainz.
"But definitely Sunday is going to be tricky, starting from so far back at a difficult track to overtake.
"My main focus now is to try and see what we can do better tomorrow."