Melbourne, Australia: The world champion Red Bull team had a troubled start to the new Formula One season with Sebastian Vettel failing to convert his pole position into a victory in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The young German, tilting at his fourth consecutive world driver's title this year, dropped back after leading the field for the first few laps, blaming tyre degradation before finishing third behind Lotus winner Kimi Raikkonen.
His Australian teammate Mark Webber's dream of winning his home GP at the 12th attempt also dissolved amid issues with his Red Bull car as he battled home in sixth place.
It was not the outcome the Formula One world was expecting after both Red Bull cars qualified on the front row of the grid with the fastest times.
Vettel got away smartly and avoided any traffic congestion at the notorious first right-hander out of the home straight, while Webber had a sluggish start and was beaten to the first bend by six cars.
"I think you're always a little disappointed when you start first and don't finish first, but overall it was a good weekend for us," Vettel said.
"We had a good day today with a pole and a podium - but in the race we were a little too aggressive with the tyres and lost the front and the rears, while others did a little better.
"There are always areas where you can improve, but the result we got today is fair.
"We didn't see Kimi on the track, he was too quick and Fernando (Alonso) jumped us at a vulnerable time - but we can be happy with third."
Webber said he had problems at the start which cost him a forward position to mount a challenge.
"We had a few issues on the grid, getting the telemetry from the car to the pits, which wasn't ideal in terms of the guys knowing where to set everything up for the start," said Webber, who is yet to make the podium in Melbourne.
Webber said he had further problems with the first set of tyres and had a slow pit stop, which was due to a front jack failure.
"We salvaged something in the end, but that was Melbourne today and it was disappointing not to get more out of it. It was hard to fight against others on a two-stop," he said.
Team principal Christian Horner said Red Bull were looking forward to the warmer temperatures in Malaysia next weekend to get their season campaign back on track.