Proving their form in Fuji was not entirely down to the adverse weather conditions, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Sebastian Vettel have hauled Scuderia Toro Rosso to just outside the top ten for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Although neither were able to make it into single figures like Vettel did in Japan, it was nonetheless the team's best combined qualifying performance of the season with Liuzzi 11th and Vettel in 12th.

A big improvement on where they found themselves during free practice, Liuzzi was delighted with his best ever qualifying position, even if he was frustrated that he didn't time his final lap well enough to start inside the top ten.

"Overall a good qualifying and I think the whole team can be proud of this result achieved in dry conditions. Yesterday went well and this morning, we worked hard on getting the best set-up possible, always thinking that we might have a wet race tomorrow.

In Q1, I had a bit of traffic so I could not get the best out of the car, but we still made it safely to Q2. Maybe I could have done a little bit better if I had made my run later as I had some understeer, but to be eleventh, so close to Q3 means we have done a good job."

Vettel meanwhile will start alongside his team-mate in 12th after another good performance from the young German. Having escaped the ten-place grid penalty suffered following his crash in Japan, Vettel is now hoping he can help STR towards their first points of the season come race day, especially if it rains again.

"This performance was better than we expected. It is a very good result for the whole team. There was not much between us: in Q1 I was slightly ahead of Tonio and in Q2, he was quicker. The key thing is that we managed to lap consistently.

"I only missed out on Q3 by a little margin, so this is clearly an improvement over yesterday and shows we are quite competitive in qualifying specific. Let's see what we can do in the race. I am looking forward to it whatever the conditions."

 

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