Lando Norris felt McLaren let a golden opportunity for pole position slip through their fingers in Brazil.
Norris and teammate Oscar Piastri had looked quick in practice and the opening two segments of qualifying, but were not a factor in the fight for pole.
As weather conditions got worse midway through Q3, Norris could manage only seventh, while Piastri ran wide at the final corner and failed to set a lap time.
Norris believed McLaren had the pace to challenge Max Verstappen for pole position in normal circumstances.
Asked how the car had felt, Norris told Sky Sports: “It was amazing.
“Probably quick enough to be quickest today and on pole. So, pretty gutted.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what to feel about it. The car was amazing, it came alive a lot in qualifying, easily good enough to be quickest, let’s say. Delivering the lap and putting together in Q3, and everything, it’s a different job. Easily quick enough.
“Disappointed, another disappointing [Friday]. Not a lot we could have done.”
Norris and Piastri have the chance to make amends on Saturday, which is devoted to qualifying for a shortened sprint session where eight points are available for the top eight finishers.
Norris, who said on Thursday he’s not the biggest fan of the sprint format, laughed when asked about McLaren’s Saturday prospects.
“Yeah… sure. I look forward to tomorrow. The car’s good, I don’t know if it’s good in the wet, I don’t know if it’s going to be wet or dry tomorrow but in the dry we should be quick enough.”