Jenson Button has apologised to fans for his slow efforts in qualifying but believes it was the right strategy to bring in points on Sunday.
The McLaren driver was one of two drivers, the other being Sebastian Vettel, who opted to use the medium tyres in qualifying and put in a very slow banker lap that was 31s off the pace.
His lap time means Button will start the Sunday's Chinese GP from eighth on the grid as neither Vettel nor Nico Hulkenberg even set a time.
However, on the up side, the Brit is starting on the more durable medium tyres, which should allow him to run a longer first stint than those ahead.
"We have a very fast car next to us, [Sebastian] is starting just behind me, starting on slightly newer tyres. He's going to really challenge for the win," Button said.
"We've just got to hold on and see where we end up.
"It's sad not to go fast in Q3. Three of us need to apologise to fans but this is what we have to do it get good points. We're a long way off the front but you never know what will happen. None of us really understand the tyres here."
The McLaren driver revealed that the decision to run a slow lap on the medium tyres was made before qualifying even began.
"It's difficult judging how slow I could actually go. It was the idea before qualifying. We wanted to look at where our pace was. It's such a difficult call. The racer in you wants to go out.
"In Q2, we were relatively quick. P7 was a slight surprise, we were quicker than we expected. I felt we got everything out of the car.
"We went for the prime direction. It was a bit of cat and mouse at end to see who actually does a lap."