Felipe Massa has "no idea" as to why Red Bull's stunning qualifying pace disappeared in the Australian Grand Prix.
Polesitter Sebastian Vettel appeared comfortably ahead of the opposition heading in to the race, but high tire degradation left him struggling on Sunday. Massa said that the state of affairs was hard to understand, especially because in the past the Red Bull had been able to convert its qualifying speed into race pace.
"I have no idea how to explain it," said Massa, who finished just behind Vettel in fourth place in the season opener. "If you look at last year, they had an incredible car in qualifying, and in the races it was still incredible, but less so. The year before, the same. It is the way they build the car.
"Since 2007 we've never really had the most incredible car in qualifying. The race was always better than qualifying and this is just the direction of our car. Why? It is impossible to explain."
Although Lotus surprised a number of people with its impressive consistency allowing Kimi Raikkonen to pull off a victorious two-stop strategy, Massa thinks that it is too early to say its rival will have such an advantage at all tracks.
"There were a lot of surprises in this race," he said. "With our car it was impossible to do two stops. Kimi could do two stops and that was a fantastic job.
"We need to wait for a couple of different tracks because maybe one car will work in one direction on one track for degradation, and maybe it will work differently on another track.
"Lotus has stayed in a good direction with the tires [in Australia] and this made a big difference."