McLaren was always out of reach, says Vettel
17 March 2012 – Sebastian Vettel did not claim to be surprised by Red Bull’s below-par qualifying performance for the Australian Grand Prix. The double World Champion will start sixth in Melbourne, having set a lap time slower than that of team-mate Mark Webber.
“Obviously qualifying was more or less as we expected,” Vettel told reports in the Albert Park paddock. “The cars have been close to each other and, from Q1 to Q2 and Q2 to Q3, the order always changed slightly. I wasn’t happy with my final run in Q3, I made a small mistake, but McLaren was always out of reach.
“As I said, I made a mistake so I should have been a bit quicker. Regarding the car, we’re not miles away - it’s not a disaster. We should have been in the fight for pole position but today we’re not good enough.
"We said coming into this weekend that Lotus had the potential to surprise. They did. Last year they were very quick in the first two races, so we’ll see how the season progresses. I don’t know what happened to Kimi (Räikkönen).”
Vettel also qualified slower than the Lotus and Mercedes cars of Romain Grosjean and Michael Schumacher, respectively, as well as the pace-setting McLarens:
“We expected Mercedes to be closer (than in 2011), so I was a bit surprised Nico (Rosberg) wasn’t higher up but I think he made a mistake so…yeah."
Further post-qualifying feelings from Red Bull:
Webber: We can still get on the podium