Team boss John Booth admitted to relief on Sunday after his Virgin drivers managed to qualify for the Australian grand prix.
Based on practice pace in Melbourne, it was feared the MVR02 would fall foul of the new 107pc qualifying rule.
Booth told the Daily Mail he would have been "bloody embarrassed" to have to pack up before the race, adding that he would have had "to grow a moustache before I dare go to the toilet".
"Although there's a sense of relief, there's not joy because we are such a long way off the pace," said the Briton.
The hapless HRT, of course, did fail to qualify, with Lotus again proving the best of the three stragglers.
But Team Lotus had hoped to move into the midfield with its Renault engine and Red Bull rear end, and Heikki Kovalainen admitted he was disappointed.
"The pace has been sluggish throughout the weekend, but we have clearly had problems getting the tyres to the right temperature," he told Turun Sanomat newspaper.