Pierre Gasly has compared traffic during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to rush hour in London and Paris after struggling to find space at the Yas Island circuit.
The problem arose in the opening two stages of qualifying, with Sebastian Vettel particularly aggrieved after being hindered on three occasions by Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Gasly, making his final appearance for AlphaTauri this weekend before moving to Alpine next season, suffered another Q1 exit and will start a lowly 17th.
“It was easier than rush hour in London or Paris," bemoaned Gasly. "Clearly, it wasn’t easy but I think it was the same for everyone.
“For sure, it wasn’t ideal. I didn’t manage to improve in the last attempt and lost quite a bit of time in the first sector so it could have been better but at the end of the day, it was the same for everyone.
“Everybody got compromised and all weekend we have played a bit of catch up. We didn’t really manage to set up the car I wanted.
“We tried with three runs but it was just a couple of hundredths [of a second short] to make it to Q2.”
Gasly concedes he found his latest struggles with the AT03 hard to suggest.
“I try to look at it with a positive approach but I am super-competitive," added Gasly.
"So when I get out of the car and am in this position, I need some time before I can swallow everything in.
“Last year was, for sure, much more entertaining and exciting but at the end of the day, every single time I’m out there, I just want to do well and I’m always going to push the team forward, no matter what until the last moment.
"I would have preferred to leave with a slightly better qualifying but we get another chance tomorrow.”