Sauber were left to rue the decision to send their drivers out on intermediate tyres, which cost them dearly in qualifying at Silverstone.
Although Sergio Perez was on provisional pole, such as it was, for more than an hour on Saturday due to a red flag stoppage in Q2, the Mexican driver was down in 17th place when the session was over.
Believing the conditions to have cleared up enough, Sauber had sent Perez and his team-mate Kamui Kobayashi out on the intermediate tyres for the final six minutes of Q2 while their rivals opted for the wets.
"We made the wrong decision when we went for intermediates instead of rain tyres after the break, but I also had traffic," said Perez.
"I was driving behind Daniel Ricciardo and could hardly see anything.
"It is such a shame because we clearly had the pace to fight for a top position here.
"However, we made a mistake and now have to try hard to recover from that in the race."
Kobayashi, who is facing a five-place penalty for crashing into Felipe Massa at the previous race in Valencia, finished in 12th place.
"We started on intermediate tyres after the break and this proved to be the wrong decision," he said.
"I pitted and changed to rain tyres, but then I only had time for one flying lap and in the difficult conditions this wasn't enough to improve as much as I needed to make it into Q3.
"Before that we had a very good chance of fighting for a top position. Our pace was really good in the wet. It is a missed opportunity.
"For tomorrow's race I don't really care whether it's wet or dry. I'll be starting a long way down the grid and will fight as hard as I can."
Alonso reigns in extended qualy