Sebastian Vettel insists he has faith in Aston Martin's controversial new aerodynamic concept despite failing to make it out of Q1 at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The German had started to make progress in recent races after scoring points in Imola before being denied another top-10 chance by a collision with friend Mick Schumacher in Miami.
The new design has drawn scrutiny due to its striking resemblance to Red Bull's RB18 which looks set to cause a row that will rumble across the coming events.
Whilst there was hope of improved performance, both Vettel and Lance Stroll were eliminated in the first stage of qualifying and will line up 16th and 18th respectively.
"If you look at the table it is not that different but we knew it was not going to be a massive step in performance straight away," said Vettel when asked as to his feeling of the two different specifications of the AMR22.
"But we believe in the concept and we are confident there is more to come. It is very early, it is basically a new car that we ran.
"It is different, we are still figuring it out but I thought I had a good feeling and in quali, I was slowed down by the poor car balance and struggling to get a feel for the rear or the trust in the rear.
"The car was moving too much and I couldn't trust the rear how I did in practice."
Vettel sideways during qualifying run
Vettel eventually missed out on a Q2 spot by just 0.074s to Alpine's Esteban Ocon.
The four-time champion highlighted balance issues as the reason for his struggles, something he was surprised at after a promising practice run that saw him finish 12th.
"It was obviously a very short session for us, we only had two laps so it is a bit disappointing because I thought today we could do better," added Vettel.
"It wasn't the case and we need to look forward to tomorrow. We had good sessions up to qualifying. In quali, I had lots of oversteer and struggled with balance and couldn't carry the speeds I wanted to or was planning to.
"We will have a look but it is obviously a shame now to start further back."
Additional reporting by Sam Hall