Kamui Kobayashi says Caterham gambled by going with the inters in Q1 for the Chinese GP but concedes it didn't go according to plan.
With the rain coming down at the start of Saturday's qualifying, Caterham deemed that the track conditions were not quite wet enough for full wets but not dry enough for inters.
Forced to choose between the two, the team opted for the inters with Kobayashi finishing in 18th place with his team-mate Marcus Ericsson 20th.
"It was raining before the start of qualifying but the track conditions were right on the edge of choosing between inters and full wets so we went for the inters as that could have given us the best chance of springing a surprise in Q1," he said.
"It was certainly pretty tricky on inters but the times were just about there with the wets on the first run so we stuck with them for the second run and went out to run to the flag.
"For the second stint the conditions were improving slightly, but still not enough for us to have a clear advantage on the intermediates, so ending up ahead of Bianchi in 18th and only three tenths from Gutierrez is probably about as good as we could have done today."