Jenson Button says his McLaren cannot afford to make silly mistakes like the one which cost him a place in Q2 during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The British driver was knocked out in Q1 for the 10th time this year after he used the wrong engine settings during his run because his team forgot to tell him to change them over the radio.
The mistake meant Button's car batteries were drained before the end of the lap.
As McLaren continues to struggle, Button said the team needs to make sure it avoids errors like today's.
"On the first run I wasn't told what engine mode to be in," said Button, who will start 16th.
"Every time before a timed lap we are told before we start and I wasn't told so I was in the wrong setting and it emptied the [battery] pack after half a lap.
"They forgot to tell me, so I went to the one that I would normally go to and that just emptied the pack halfway around the lap, so the last half of the lap I didn't have any deployment.
"We can't make little mistakes like this. It's the simple things. We've got bigger things to worry about."
He added: "It's not frustration. it's stating the obvious. You can't have little mistakes like this, from any one us, me included. We have to iron those issues out, because we have bigger problems right now."
Button was confident he would have made it into Q2 without the mistake.
"I don't know if it would have happened, but it definitely felt like it would have. But that's what it is," he said.
"You have a chance of doing something, but we definitely messed up. It's gonna be tough for everyone, the race, because the pressures are so high, the tyres are overheating after one lap.
"So everyone will have troubles tomorrow, us included."
Best ever lap for Alonso
Teammate Fernando Alonso also endured a disappointing day and qualified in 14th position.
The Spanish driver said he had driven his best ever lap around Suzuka.
"I think today, actually, this was the best I could do and I told the guys the lap was probably the best around here that I did all my career," he said.
"I can put a hundred set of tyres in the afternoon and I'd probably not repeat the time again.
"So I was very happy with the lap, but the position we know is still not very competitive - and we need to keep improving."