While admitting he could have qualified higher, Fernando Alonso concedes he was never in the running for pole position.
The Spaniard secured fifth spot on the grid for Sunday's Hungarian GP, falling behind his team-mate Felipe Massa for the first time this season.
The 30-year-old admits that the result is disappointing but believes that third was the best he could have hoped for.
"It's the same result as a week ago, so yet again today, we're neither surprised nor disappointed," he explained.
"It's true I did not do a perfect lap in Q3 and I'm happy to admit that, but I don't think I could have made it to the front row.
"Third place was within our grasp and it would have been a great place from which to start the race, but others did better than us, including my team-mate who drove a nice lap: it's important that both our cars are in positions from which we can fight for a place on the podium.
"All the same, better fifth than fourth as it means at least I start from the clean side of the track. It seems that when it's time for Q3, Red Bull has a magic button that suddenly makes them go faster, but then it seems the button switches off in the race."
Overtaking at the Hungaroring is always a challenge, a point Alonso does not expect the use of the Drag Reduction System to change, and the Ferrari man believes that pitstops will prove pivotal.
"It's always very difficult to overtake here and I don't think DRS will change that much: maybe a good tow and a gust of wind will be of more use," he said.
"We will try and move up a few places tomorrow: we will need to maintain a good pace, doing a perfect job at the pitstops, of which I think there will be a lot, maybe three or four, because tyre degradation is significant.
"It will also be important to get the timing of the stops right. I reckon anything could still happen: it will be a very open race."