Mark Webber found it "bizarre" that he was unable to qualify higher than sixth for the Hungarian Grand Prix, especially with his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel on pole position.
Webber won last year's Hungaroring race and had been on pole for the previous two grands prix in 2011, but the Australian's best effort in Q3 was a full 0.659 seconds adrift of Vettel's pole time. Afterward, Webber said that he believed that not working his tires correctly could have been the trigger for his worst starting spot of the year and the gap to his teammate.
"[There was] no way I could do that [Vettel's] laptime, absolutely no way," he said. "We had a few KERS issues in the middle of the session but we had it back for the last run in, but in the end the 1m19s is a different zone to me so... It's strange, really bizarre.
"Fernando [Alonso, who qualified fifth] didn't have the best day either. We see how sensitive the tires are and today we didn't extract enough out of them to be further up the grid."
Webber said that while there was no one reason for his being so far off the pace, a number of smaller factors had contributed to an overall lack of grip.
"It felt OK," he added. "If you have a gap of six tenths its just overall grip. I need to look through it, obviously, but it's a big step compared to the last few races so I need to analyze it. I need to do my best tomorrow."