Mark Webber was surprised by the gap to the front-running cars in qualifying at Monza, although the Red Bull driver said his position was pretty much what he expected.
"I would not have put the money on the gap being that big but the position is probably where we expected to be," said Webber after finishing in fourth position, half a second behind polesitter Fernando Alonso. "Fernando is very, very strong; Jenson [Button] is obviously on a different downforce level so they have split their cars how they are going around this racetrack – which is something some of the other teams have looked at as well. The position is what we expected, the gap is probably a little bit bigger than we expected.
"Fernando was very strong, very, very quick – I think they have got the V10 out today and did a good job!"
Red Bull said ahead of the weekend that Monza was likely to be its weakest track of the season. The Australian, second in the championship behind Lewis Hamilton, admitted he is hoping for a strong result despite Red Bull's deficit.
"It is human nature to always want more. It is nice and if there was a chance to get Felipe, then, of course, you want to get more," he said. "But on Thursday night we would probably have signed up for losing nothing, give or take a point or two here or there, so victories are what make a big difference. Today was not a too bad qualifying and let's see how tomorrow's race goes."
Speaking about his hopes for the race, he said: "53 laps, very boring, and hopefully sitting here tomorrow night with you guys with some good points which we could definitely get. A boring race would be nice. If we can chip forward a little bit, who knows. Let's see."
Webber admitted he was slightly worried about the reliability of his car after having stopped twice with problems during the weekend.
"A little bit yes. We need to look at it and work on it with Renault, and see what the best plan is. It is not the first time we have seen this, we have experience with this kind of problem and we just need to chip away with it."
He reckons the first corner could be crucial, with the tight chicane always dangerous at the start.
"All the drivers know the score here. It is a particular challenging first part but we've all been there before. It is the same for quite a few tracks this year, we've seen that it can be difficult. It is different than Copse – but not much we can do about it."