"I didn't really know what to expect", he told reporters afterwards.
Drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were nearly seven-tenths of a second away from pole-man Lewis Hamilton, with Verstappen setting a time over two tenths slower than that of fourth-placed Kimi Räikkönen.
"Friday paints one picture but you are never really sure about what is going to happen", said Ricciardo. Remember that stern talking to - complete with finger-wagging - you received; the one that went "don't touch this" and "don't do that" because she'd know, and "woe betide you" if you disobeyed? Just from the way the vehicle was feeling this weekend, I think we were more comfortable on the softs. I chipped away at my lap time by a few hundredths but it wasn't enough and they put in a few belters at the end.
"It is a little bit disheartening as I don't really know what I could have done more with what we have".
Ricciardo, a victor in China last month, said it was not just about the drivers, however.
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"But I think in general they still trust us and we also understand we don't want that to happen again".
"Now from turn 1 to turn 4 it's flat-out with corners in it", he explained. "It's not an ideal track for us now, because it's getting easier flat everywhere, so it's more flat out so it's not good".
When asked if the team had established new rules, Verstappen simply said: "No".
The 28-year-old has finished just three of the races, forced into retirement in both Bahrain and Azerbaijan - the latter of which was a result of a collision with Verstappen - but he's recorded the fastest lap time in each of the three he finished.
Many drivers were struggling to make the super-soft work at all on one qualifying lap and it looked as if teams would be trying to minimise running on what would before the weekend have been expected to be the qualifying tyre.
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And it didn't match the $19.5 million opening of Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn's Snatched over Mother's Day weekend a year ago . The Chinese opening comes two weeks after the U.S. debut for Infinity War and that lag may have helped drive up demand.
"Personally, I'd like to see him in a Ferrari".
"Even for me it was a guess, so a bit tricky".
But he's confident there is more to come from them as Red Bull fine-tunes the setup to harness the improved performance after an encouraging second session.
"Just fast but not with the ease to be able to do it for consistent laps for the whole race".
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Dusan Tadic's corner was flicked goalwards by the head of Maya Yoshida, but Claudio Bravo produced a good save to keep it out. The old record was held by Liverpool , who collected 98 points in the 1978-79 season (adjusted to three points for a win).