F1 Grand Prix of China - Practice

Webber knocked out in Q1 on “frustrating day”

2011 Chinese Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011
Mark Webber, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

Mark Webber will start the Chinese Grand Prix with 17 cars in front of him after being eliminated in the first part of qualifying.

Team mate Sebastian Vettel starts tomorrow’s race from pole position.

Webber gambled on not using a set of soft tyres during the session despite not being able to run his Kinetic Energy Recovery System following a problem.

He missed the cut by three-tenths of a second. Webber said it was: “A very frustrating day.

“Did one lap in P3, trying to get into things in Q1 and, yeah, we got caught out on the first set and we just weren’t quick enough at the end of the day.

“We’ve got a few plates spinning in the background so we paid the ultimate price today for that.”

Webber didn’t finish his response to a question about why he didn’t use soft tyres in the first practice session, suggesting he wasn’t happy with his second set of hard tyres:

“I thought we had enough to get through but turns out the second set of primes…”

Team principal Christian Horner said the team decided to send him out on hard tyres because they felt it should have been possible to get into Q2:

“It was the team’s call because it looked like another set of primes should be more than enough. The pace that we saw in the car this morning even with Mark’s short amount of running should have been enough to comfortably make it through. But with the tyres not being up to temperature it’s obviously compromised him.

“He’s just had rotten luck this weekend and I’m sure he can race well from there.”

Horner said Webber had been unable to get enough heat into the tyres:

“It’s been a rotten day for Mark today. He had an electrical issue this morning and a massive effort by the entire crew, including the mechanics on Sebastian’s car, to get the car ready for quali.

“His first run wasn’t great so then we went around again on the prime. And unfortunately those tyres weren’t quite up to temperature for his first lap and he missed out.

“So it’s just one of those things but it’s disappointing for Mark and for the team that we haven’t got both the guys up there where we want them to be.

“We thought there would be enough performance there to do it on the prime. Everything we’d seen previously and from this morning suggested that you should be able to do it on the first lap on the prime. We shouldn’t need to have run the option.

“Obviously it’s very easy with 20:20 vision on hindsight to say that was a mistake and we should have gone on the option.”

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images