Daniil Kvyat was unable to explain his early exit from qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday and says he is still wondering "what really was going wrong there".

Kvyat was the high profile casualty in the first phase of qualifying at Melbourne's Albert Park with the Russian becoming the fifth driver to be eliminated under the new format.

Asked what happened, he replied: "I don't know. I still am wondering what really was going wrong there. There are two options, a bit wrong timing or maybe just slow."

Pressed on if he had been hampered by the new restrictions on radio communications, he added: "That does not change anything. From the start everything began to go wrong. I just went in the middle of traffic and this does not help you. And that second lap was clean but not good enough."

With team-mate Daniel Ricciardo going on to qualify in eighth in the sister car, it was clear the Red Bull had more potential.

"Yes, I would say so [it does have more potential] but I am in 18th so it was not good enough job overall from everyone. It is as simple as that," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Kvyat said it was difficult to tell if Red Bull has made much progress relative to the others over the winter.

"Just analysing qualifying, I am not the right person to ask. Looking at Daniel he knows more about this but it does not seem so much the progress. It seems like everything is similar to last year, but all the car behaves quite stable and consistent, so there are no surprises.

"It is just that this new Q1 format caught us by surprise, our side of the garage. Now it is easy to speculate, but we will just try to do our best on Sunday."

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