• Australian Grand Prix - Qualifying

'McLaren was out of reach' - Vettel

ESPNF1 Staff
March 17, 2012 « 'I tried my best but it wasn't quite enough' - Button | Alonso still eyeing Ferrari points »
Sebastian Vettel was only sixth quickest in qualifying behind his team-mate Mark Webber © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel admitted that McLaren "was out of reach today" after Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button locked out the front row during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

Qualifying finally saw all of the teams show their true pace and it was somewhat of a surprise as Mark Webber and Vettel were only able to qualify fifth and sixth respectively behind both McLarens, Romain Grosjean and Michael Schumacher. Vettel told Sky Sports that he made an error that prevented him from starting higher up the grid but said McLaren was too quick for Red Bull.

"Qualifying was more or less as we expected; the cars being close to each other and I think Q1 to Q3 the order always changed slightly," Vettel said. "I wasn't entirely happy with my final attempt; I did a mistake at the beginning of the lap so I should have been higher up. But I think McLaren was out of reach today so congratulations, they were really quick. Now we'll see what we can do tomorrow."

When asked if Vettel was happy with his car, he admitted the team had work to do.

"No. As I said I did a mistake so I should have been a bit quicker. Regarding the car I think we are not miles away so it's not a disaster. Obviously we would love to be a bit quicker and fight for pole position but today we were not good enough. But that's no reason to panic the race is tomorrow and we have not even had one race yet."

Having qualified behind a Lotus and a Mercedes, Vettel added that he wasn't surprised by the pace shown by other teams.

"Well I think we said coming in to this weekend that Lotus has the potential to surprise. They did, I think last year they were also very quick in the first two races, so we will see how the season progresses. But for now they did a good job, I don't know what happened to Kimi but as I said they had potential to surprise. Mercedes; we expected them to be closer. I think they have proven very strong yesterday in a couple of laps and this morning and throughout qualifying. I was a bit surprised Nico wasn't higher up but I think he had a mistake."