'I don’t want to blame the car' - Vettel 11th
14 April 2012 – Sebastian Vettel has all but taken responsibility for his lacklustre qualifying performance in China. The German failed to make the top ten shootout for the first time since Brazil 2009 and will start only 11th on the Shanghai grid.
In an unusual split strategy, the two Red Bull cars are running with very different exhaust configurations; whereas Mark Webber’s exhaust exits are further forward, Vettel was unhappy with the new design and opted to switch back to version A.
“Of course it’s easy to say this now, but I was happy with the way the car was yesterday,” the World Champion said shortly after qualifying. “That is why I decided to stay as we were. Actually, I was happy with the laps I did in qualifying; I made no mistakes, but they just weren’t quick enough and it’s as easy as that.
“I was happy with the car yesterday, so we decided to stick with the settings we have. I don’t want to blame it on the car. Obviously, I’m not happy but, as I said, I was pretty happy with my laps in Q2. But they just weren’t quick enough.”
On the track at which Vettel won Red Bull’s first Grand Prix in 2009, team-mate Webber rose from 18th on the grid to snatch a podium finish one year ago.