The McLaren driver missed the cut at the end of Qualifying 1 by half a second and held his hand up to a scrappy lap with “too many mistakes”.
Nonetheless, he was taking the positives from the experience and is now eying the prospect of moving closer to the points in Sunday's race.
“And then the second set, I just didn't do a good enough job, quite simply.
“Made a big mistake in Turn 2, the rest of the lap was not too bad, but it's a pretty small margin.”
“Coming out of P3, we were quite confident,” the 21-year-old said.
“It was a good session, I felt food with the car.
“I think the red flag [in qualifying] complicated things.
“Getting to Qualifying 2 would have been quite tricky with a good lap, but I think the potential is there to get a bit closer to the points,” he added.
“To me, there's a lot to learn; it'll be my first race in a long time and my first experience being in a proper racing situation with other cars around me for quite a while.
“So there'll be plenty of opportunities tomorrow and I'll try my best.”
The 57-lap Bahrain Grand Prix begins at 18:00 local time on Sunday (02:00 AEDT Monday).