Michael Schumacher will start his 300th grand prix from down in 13th place after Merc failed to shine at Spa.
The seven-time World Champion may be a six-time Belgian Grand Prix winner and may equate the Spa-Francorchamps circuit to his "living room" but that did not help him on Saturday.
Lacking the speed needed to challenge for a top-ten starting position, Schumacher found himself down in 13th place despite upping his pace.
"Doing my lap I was pretty excited, I pulled more than half a second out of it but that wasn't enough," the German told the BBC.
"Looking around and seeing Seb (Vettel) in 11th, it shows it is a close business."
But while Schumacher's day was bad, Nico Rosberg's was even worse.
The younger of the two Germans qualified down in 18th place after missing the bulk of Saturday's final practice when his W03 broke down, in need of a new gearbox.
And that new gearbox saw Rosberg hit with a five-place grid penalty.
"It's been a difficult weekend with the gearbox," he said. "We've been finding a way with set-up and managed to improve along the way. But I wasn't feeling ideal and it's not a great starting position for tomorrow."