Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel bemoaned his luck after an engine change robbed him of practice time at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The four-time defending world champion has been short on fortune in 2014 and is still yet to win a race.
It is a remarkable transformation, given Vettel won the last nine races of 2013 on his way to another world title, but the German has had little answer to the dominance of Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton this year.
He sits sixth in this year's standings, 132 points behind Rosberg, and had to change his engine after Friday's first practice, leaving him short of time in the second session.
Vettel " who has won the last three races at Singapore " said: "It was very unfortunate.
"The car was running pretty smoothly when suddenly the engine bowed out. We had hoped to also run it in FP2, but it was not meant to be.
"It takes about three hours to change the engine and because the break between the two sessions is half an hour shorter than at other races - only two hours - we missed almost all of FP2.
"I was basically only running for a bit over eight minutes, but those minutes were important to get a feeling of the supersoft tyres. And it felt reasonably good.
"Does that brief encounter allow me to make any prediction for the race? I don"t know."
Vettel's superb Singapore record leaves him confident ahead of Sunday's main race, though, and he said he has learned plenty from a trying year.
"On paper this could be a better race for us," he added.
"It certainly looks better than a race like Monza because, knowing that we are down on power, the layout of this track should be a bit in our favour.
"There are still races to go. Of course I prefer to win - I am here to win. I definitely don"t like being beaten - and this season I have been beaten many times - and obviously this is also part of life.
"You learn from winning - but you also learn from being beaten, from losing, and in that regard we"ve already learned a lot.
"So the confidence is high that we will win again - that we will fight our way back to the podium."