A "terrible" Lewis Hamilton has apologised to Mercedes for his Russian Grand Prix qualifying errors he declared were "not what you expect from a champion".
The seven-time F1 title-winner had looked on course to take pole position in the damp, tricky conditions at the Sochi Autodrom.
But as the teams scrambled to swap from intermediate to slick tyres in Q3, Hamilton hit the pit entry wall and damaged his front wing.
The time lost for the change cost Hamilton a crucial opportunity to set two quick laps on the softs on an improving track, as proved beneficial for the trio of drivers ahead of him in polesitter Lando Norris, Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Williams' George Russell.
"It was just a mistake from myself," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. "Ultimately incredibly disappointed with myself.
"Until then I was in a groove, in my zone and I am really sorry for all the team here and back in the factory. That is not what you expect from a champion.
"It is what it is and I will give it my best to try and rectify it."
Hamilton - Q3 was "horrible at the end"
Further woe followed for Hamilton on his one lap on the softs as he pushed to try and reclaim the pole from McLaren driver Norris.
On cooling rubber, Hamilton spun in the slippery final sector and made contact with the barriers, meaning he will start fourth after at least getting in a banker lap on the intermediates.
"It was horrible at the end," he added. "Very poor grip, very slippery when you don't have any temperature and I was losing temperature on the lap.
"Twice in the wall, that is very rare for me."
Assessing his chances of claiming a 100th grand prix victory, Hamilton added: "The guys up front have got good pace and it definitely won't be easy.
"I am just going to say my prayers and hope the car can be fixed and it is hopefully okay for tomorrow.
"These things are sent to try us. I feel terrible right now but I will turn it into a positive and try and do my best."