Sebastian Vettel said he was 'pretty happy' after finishing sixth today in qualifying for the 2012 F1 Italian Grand Prix, especially as Red Bull Racing have been off the pace all weekend.
Vettel only just made it through to the top-ten shoot-out, pulling out a time on his final flying lap in Q2 that left him ninth - and just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in tenth. The German then set a 1 minute 25.406 second lap in Q3, putting him sixth overall, although he gains a place on the grid as Paul di Resta will drop five places due to a gearbox penalty.
“I'm pretty happy with the result; my last lap should have been a bit quicker, but whether it would have made a difference or not is hard to say. If you look from us to the front, the gaps are too big. All weekend we were not quick enough, so P6 is a very good place to be,” Vettel remarked.
“Let's see what we can do in the race now, I think the pace tomorrow should be better.”
Team-mate Mark Webber meanwhile will also be hoping for better on race day, after he was just edged out in Q2 - just 0.067 seconds off Raikkonen and only 0.122 seconds off Vettel in P9.
“It's pretty much what we expected today,” Webber added. “Seb and I were on the bubble there; it was very close between us – there's only a tenth here and there and I'm out. No massive surprises.
“I'm eleventh, so we can have a bit of a choice on what we can do tonight, but I'd rather be further up the grid. We've got a bit of a slog tomorrow; but it's Monza so never say never.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner conceded it had been a 'difficult qualifying'.
“We knew going in to this session that it was going to be tough,” Horner continued. “We made it through Q1 without any pressure after [Nico] Hulkenberg stopped early on. Unfortunately Mark missed the cut at the end of Q2 by the smallest of margins.
“Sebastian delivered a very good lap in Q3 though, to line up in sixth, which will become fifth for the starting grid tomorrow.
“Hopefully our race pace will be stronger than we've shown today and we can take the fight to the cars ahead.”