After another difficult qualifying session, Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber will start sixth in the F1 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.
Webber was seventh fastest in Q3, but will move up one place on the grid after McLaren's Lewis Hamilton serves his five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change. Despite again out-qualifying his World Champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel though, the Aussie confessed to being frustrated after tough session at the Shanghai International Circuit.
"The Q2 lap wasn't bad, but I didn't get the Q3 lap together as I would have liked. It's a bit all over the place with pulling a lap time together on the soft tyre, but I would have liked to have finished a row further up," he noted.
Indeed, Webber was disappointed at his inability to replicate his form from Q2, when he was quickest.
"The 1m35.7 in Q2 was a good lap, but I maybe tried to eke a bit too much out in Q3. It's frustrating. We know we have a good race car, so it will be interesting to see how it unfolds tomorrow. It's very close and we'll keep pushing," he added.
Webber has history of making up ground on race day in China. He surged through from 18th on the grid to the podium last year, and whilst he is significantly higher up for the 2012 edition, Renault's Cyril Dumont harbours hopes of another race day improvement.
"We have the two Mercedes in front of us, which don't always have the best race pace, so we can still have a good race tomorrow, as we normally have good race pace," he continued.
Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner meanwhile was also, like Webber, frustrated after qualifying: "An ultimately disappointing qualifying. Having looked quick and competitive on the hard tyre, it was a shame for Sebastian to miss Q3 by a very small margin. Mark topped the times in Q2, but then unfortunately he couldn't repeat that lap in Q3, so we are P6 and P11 on the grid tomorrow, after Lewis' penalty.
"It wasn't our expectation, but the top ten has quite a different shape to it here, so it should make an interesting race," Horner concluded.
by Philip Barclay