Not the best day at the office for Red Bull today in China with both drivers trying to make the best of their cars while using very different exhausts systems and settings.

While Mark Webber opted for the new version of the exhaust system and felt comfortable with it, the reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel was found on track struggling for grip in his RB8 while using the old spec exhaust that was used by the team in the winters tests.

Here are some selected quotes of the key people involved in today qualifying:

Mark_Webber-Friday-ChinaMark Webber: “The Q2 lap wasn’t bad, but I didn’t get the Q3 lap together as I would have liked. It’s a bit all over the place with pulling a lap time together on the soft tyre, but I would have liked to have finished a row further up. The 1m35.7 in Q2 was a good lap, but I maybe tried to eek a bit too much out in Q3. It’s frustrating. We know we have a good race car, so it will be interesting to see how it unfolds tomorrow. It’s very close and we’ll keep pushing.”

Christian Horner: “An ultimately disappointing qualifying. Having looked quick and competitive on the hard tyre, it was a shame for Sebastian to miss Q3 by a very small margin. Mark topped the times in Q2, but then unfortunately he couldn’t repeat that lap in Q3, so we are P6 and P11 on the grid tomorrow, after Lewis’ penalty. It wasn’t our expectation, but the top ten has quite a different shape to it here, so it should make an interesting race.”

Sebastian_Vettel-Friday-ChinaSebastian Vettel: “There was no problem with the car, but I couldn’t get the final few tenths. I was happy with the laps I did in Q2, but they weren’t quick enough and we couldn’t make it in to Q3. We have a long race ahead of us tomorrow and the car did feel good, so in terms of race pace we should do better tomorrow. We weren’t fast enough and we have to accept it. We start from P11 tomorrow and see what we can do from there.”

CYRIL DUMONT (Renault): “Of course disappointing today, we saw that in Q2 it was pretty tight, we had eleven cars separated by three tenths. Unfortunately we were eleventh with Sebastian, who missed out on Q3 by only about 500ths I guess , so it’s disappointing. I also think it’s a disappointing for Mark, as he couldn’t repeat his Q2 lap in Q3. So, Mark will start in P6 with Hamilton’s penalty. We have the two Mercedes in front of us, which don’t always have the best race pace, so we can still have a good race tomorrow, as we normally have good race pace.”

Images: Red Bull Content Pool

Full 2012 Chinese GP Qualifying Results