Sebastian Vettel has revealed his lack of running in Q3 was not because of a problem with his car but was rather decision to save tyres.
The Red Bull racer, along with fellow German Michael Schumacher, opted not to set a time in qualifying for the Spanish GP.
However, as he ventured out on two occasions, each time heading back into the pits without making his mark on the timesheets, there were some concerns that perhaps there was an issue with his RB8.
"There was nothing wrong," Vettel revealed.
"We decided to abort the lap to have a free choice of tyres for the race. If I had set a lap (time) we would have to start the race on soft tyres.
"In Q2 the first run was crucial. I didn't manage to pull a lap out, so I had to use my final set of (soft) tyres to get into Q3."
The German also conceded that his Red Bull was "simply not quick enough" to challenge at the front.
He added: "We'll see how it goes for tomorrow.
"We were a bit surprised how much of a step the others have made, but I'm quite confident for the race, we always have a good race car.
"And we have a couple of new sets (of the hard tyre) which has proved successful for others in previous races this year."
Meanwhile, team boss Christian Horner admitted as part of this year's Championship teams will have to play the "strategic game" at times.
"It's a very different game this year," he said.
"Ultimately Sebastian didn't have great one-lap pace - maybe it was the wind - but you have to look at it two ways.
"Going into the race with four new sets of tyres is an advantage.
"Mark (Webber, who qualified 12th) has four sets of new tyres.
"Seb has effectively used one more set, so F1 is a strategic game."
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