McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has put Daniel Ricciardo's elimination from Q1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix down to the team's "firefighting" over the past two weeks.
The Australian will line up only 18th on the grid to start his 2022 campaign, with only Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi slower.
Ricciardo missed the entirety of the second pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit before losing even more track time in free practice as his MCL36 sprung a water leak.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 during qualifying, Seidl said: "I think we just saw the result of everything that happened over the last seven or eight days.
"I think he was on the back foot from the beginning going into this weekend with missing out on the test last week and he missed on additional laps yesterday with the water leak.
"So it was always a difficult challenge for him today."
McLaren has struggled since arriving in Bahrain for the pre-season test, with an "interim solution" added for this weekend to solve brake issues and pace evading the team.
Lando Norris failed to make Q3 in the other car, underlining the team's issues.
"We have been struggling all weekend with the pace of the car," added Seidl.
"I think also that is a result of all the firefighting we have had to do over the last seven or eight days.
"We simply have to accept it and move on."