Neither Kimi Raikkonen nor Sebastian Vettel could get within a second of polesitter Lewis Hamilton, leaving them on the third row of the grid - a far cry from earlier in the day when Vettel came very close to snatching top spot from the Silver Arrows in final practice.
"I don't know what happened this afternoon," said Vettel after his P6 qualifying result. "We are disappointed as a team today because we didn't deliver what we can.
"We can't change it now [but] we need to have a look and understand. We know that the car can be very strong, we just need to make sure that we get it in the right groove. I think we should be a lot quicker tomorrow."
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was similarly perplexed by the sudden loss of pace, adding: "Something went wrong… for both drivers it went wrong. Look at this morning: we were much better. We have to check."
The Italian team's row-three grid slots mark only the fourth time in the last two seasons that neither Raikkonen nor Vettel have qualified inside the top four.