Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his car and hit the barriers, destroying the rear end
The Australian, looking to win on home soil for the very first time, had made it through the first two sessions of qualifying safely although somewhat behind the pace of Mercedes and Ferrari.
But with eight minutes of Q3 remaining, Ricciardo went off the track at high speed and careered into the barriers rear wing first.
"The lap in Q3 was a little bit messy and then Turn 14 caught me out a bit," Ricciardo said.
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"I just went in and then the rear went away.
"There wasn't a way of saving it.
"Physically I'm fine but emotionally I'm a little bit disappointed with the outcome.
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"That's what happens.
"At least it didn't happen in Q1.
"I'll try to have a little bit of perspective on it.
Daniel Ricciardo is racing on home tarmac but will have his work cut out on Sunday
"We did alright. We made progress and in Q2 we made a big step forward."
Red Bull have been open about the fact that they do not expect to be competing at the very front of the grid in the first race of the season.
However, team boss Christian Horner was still clearly disappointed that his senior driver will at best start in 10th, assuming Red Bull do not have to change the gearbox which will incur a five-place grid penalty.
Daniel Ricciardo was realistic about his chances ahead of the Australian Grand Prix
"It's a shame," Horner said.
"Unfortunately he's just lost the rear of the car at Turn 14.
"He came on the radio and apologised but he's obviously pushing that little bit too hard in that corner.
"That's the first spin Dan's had all winter but he was just stepping it up a gear and it got away from him.
"Once the momentum has gone and you're out on the dust, there's only one way it's going.
"The crash structures on these things are pretty good these days but we'll have to inspect it."