Virgin Racing were left disappointed with the speed of their car as they qualified five seconds of pole position.
For a while it looked as though they may join Hispania outside the 107% but rookie Jerome D'Ambrosio snuck four ten tenths inside to save embarrassment.
The team were first to admit that struggling to make the cut in qualifying is not acceptable and understand there is a lot of hard work ahead of them to improve.
Team Principal John Booth said: “It's fair to say that there was some degree of nail biting within the team ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session.
“That's not the position we want to be in and fighting to stay within the 107% time is not our target – it should be a given.
“Qualifying was an affirmation of what we already know – that we have a lot of hard work ahead to bring the car up to where it needs to be.”
Timo Glock will be looking to aid development with his experience but D'Ambrosio faces a tough battle to prove his worth in such a struggling car but Booth had praise for the job his drivers are doing with the tools at their disposal.
He concluded: “Timo drove the wheels off the car to get the best possible result today and JÃ©rÃ´me is doing an admirable job in his debut weekend.”