Sebastian Vettel feared that he may have blown pole position on his final Q3 run at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after making an error as he got "too excited".
The German had been at the top of the timesheets after the first runs, despite making two small mistakes, so was confident he could do even better on his second effort.
But his hopes of an improvement were dashed at Turn 3 when he locked up, forcing him to abandon his lap and leaving him fearing the worst as he returned to the pits.
"Q3 run one I was really happy with," explained the Ferrari driver. "There was maybe a tiny bit in the middle sector, Turn 6 and Turn 11, where I was a bit greedy and went a bit wider than I should.
"But the rest of the lap was really good. I had a good exit of the last corner which has been incredibly difficult today with the wind playing tricks on all of us I guess, and even a little bit of a tow with a car 5/6/7 seconds ahead. I was really happy with how that lap came together.
"On the second run, I knew there was a little bit more in those places I just mentioned and the car was on fire straight away.
"But I think I got a bit too excited for Turn 3 and tried to brake later, quite a bit later, than the laps before."
Vettel said that a subsequent lock up that left him with a flat spot left him convinced there was little point to carry on with the lap.
"Once I hit the bumps, it locked the front and from then onwards the front left was flat spotted," added the world championship leader.
"I was quite upset at the time in the car because I burned my shot at an improvement – and I didn't know what was going on around me.
"When I then aborted the lap and came in I was told 'pole position', so I was quite happy – really happy.
"The team has done well, we changed the car again overnight and found even more performance."