Paul di Resta found himself just on the wrong side of the dividing line at the end of the second phase of qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, the victim of a late improvement from seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
The Scot had been holding a tenuous tenth place as all bar the top six runners embarked on a second flying run, but was unable to respond as Schumacher found enough to move ahead of the Force India. di Resta was still on track but could not improve on his final run, retiring to the pit to lick his wounds as team-mate Adrian Sutil made it into the pole position shoot-out.
Joining the Scot on the sidelines during FP3 will be the two Toro Rossos, the second Renault of Vitaly Petrov and the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez, while Rubens Barrichello also missed out but was encouraged by twelfth spot to end a difficult 2011 campaign.
Sebastian Vettel grabbed top spot in the 15-minute session, which again ran under the threat of rain, leading Nico Rosberg by just over a tenth. Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button completed the top five, and will be joined in the hunt for pole by Fernando Alonso, Sutil, Felipe Massa, Bruno Senna and Schumacher.