After a recent run of strong qualifying performance, Norris endured a more frustrating time at Hockenheim as he failed to make it past the first knock-out phase. He will line up 16th on the grid.
While Norris initially blamed himself for the performance, it has subsequently emerged that the British driver was hampered by a technical issue.
McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl said: “We had an issue with the battery pack in qualifying with his car. So we lost one tenth with that, which would have been enough to progress to Q2, and then it would maybe have been a different story.”
Norris missed out on a spot in Q2 by just 0.077 seconds, so the tenth of a difference would have changed things a lot.
Reflecting on what happened, Norris said: “I didn’t put the lap together as well as I should have done. It wasn’t like I made loads of mistakes and was miles off the pace. I was just over a tenth off of Carlos and, although position wise it is different, our pace compared to the others wasn’t too different.
“It was just very close and I just didn’t do a great lap and that showed in the results. Nothing happened. Nothing which made me a lot slower or anything, not a great lap.”
Norris’s teammate Carlos Sainz made it through to Q3 and will start from seventh place, having been beaten to the best-of-the-rest spot by Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
Asked by Motorsport.com about why McLaren’s form in Germany had not been as strong as recent races, he said: “What we know is the others have brought quite a lot of stuff and they might have an edge over us this weekend, but I still think we reacted well to tough conditions.
“I don’t think the heat was helping either our car and our efficient package. There are a combination of things there that didn’t help, but mainly the others have done a good step this weekend.”