Felipe Massa was hope to score his first points since the Turkish Grand Prix in late May at Hockenheim on what is the first anniversary of the accident that almost cost him his life.
Massa was left with serious head injuries at the Hungaroring last year after being struck on the head by a spring that had come away from the Brawn GP car of Rubens Barrichello, with the Brazilian being left in a coma and forced to miss the second half of the 2009 campaign.
Having retained his place with Ferrari this season, Massa finished on the podium in Bahrain and Australia but has since been overshadowed by new team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Failure to score in the last three races has seen Massa slip to eighth in the championship standings but he will now hope to return to form twelve months on from the incident that could have ended his career.
“It was a very difficult time for me,” he said after qualifying. “Somebody was saying that I still need to be here, so I'm here, very happy and working.
“Let's go back to Hungary and try to achieve a good result there, but first of all we need to think about tomorrow. Tomorrow is the race and then we have one week to think about Hungary and try to do a good job because it would be even more fantastic after what's happened.”
Despite picking up his best grid slot since the season opener back in March, Massa admitted he was slightly disappointed not to secure a place on the front row after losing time on his quickest lap.
“I'm a bit disappointed because I had a bit of a margin to improve the lap looking at the grip I had,” he said, “but I had a difficult moment which made me lose some tenths. Anyway, I think it's good to start in the top three in a difficult qualifying. I'm optimistic and definitely looking forward to tomorrow.”