Vettel saves tyres as Webber runs out of fuel

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F1 Grand Prix, GP China, Shanghai International Ciruitcn

Red Bull Racing had a very unusual qualifying and has no car in the top 8. Sebastian Vettel saved tyres and will start from 9th with a free choice of tyres. Mark Webber was even worse off as he ran out of fuel in Q2 and is relegated to the back of the grid.

Sebastian Vettel, 9th: “We’re obviously on a different strategy to the cars in front, whether that works or not we will see tomorrow, but I’m confident we did the right thing based on the facts we have. It was a different approach to normal in today’s qualifying and it all came down to the last few minutes for everyone; it was very silent and then everyone left in a queue to start the lap at the same time – but not a problem. We have the advantage of choosing the tyres for tomorrow, so we’ll see.”

Mark Webber, 14th (moved to back of grid as its was impossible to extract a fuel example from the car): “It’s very disappointing. Q1 went okay; I was comfortable with the car and we had a good plan for the rest of the session. In Q2 we lost fuel pressure so I had to turn the car off and couldn’t get it back to the pits. I had to stop on the circuit, so qualifying was over before it started really. We need a bit of luck now; it's not the optimum starting position, but we still have to try to get something from there.”

Christian Horner, Team principal: “A frustrating qualifying session for the team and for Mark. Unfortunately in Q2 the amount of fuel that was required to be put into the car from the fuel rig was not fully delivered. This was due to an error with the fuel bowser that meant it under delivered 3kg of fuel. Therefore on Mark’s in-lap we saw large drop outs in the fuel tank collector and the car unfortunately ran dry of fuel, which is obviously frustrating. The fuel bowser has been immediately quarantined for further investigation. It’s a shame as he would obviously have made Q3 today and the tactic with both drivers was to adopt the same strategy. As we’ve seen this weekend the soft tyre has had very good one lap performance, but very limited durability so we took a tactical decision in Q3 to run the harder tyre. That means Sebastian will have freedom of choice to start on a new set of tyres for tomorrow’s race, which should be very interesting due to the different strategies involved.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault support engineer: “Today was a disappointing result all round but it happens. Unfortunately due to a problem with the fuel bowser on Mark's car, the correct level of fuel was not delivered to the car. Despite trying to save fuel on the way back we came up just short. We have a long race ahead of us tomorrow.”