Daniel Ricciardo says he got "better and better" in each session as he worked his way to a career-high P6 grid slot for Sunday's Bahrain GP.
While his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne struggled on the other end of the timesheets, Ricciardo demonstrated his talent around the 5.412 km-long Sakhir circuit.
Breaking into Q3 - for the second time in four races - Ricciardo impressed as he clocked a 1:32.912, which put him less than half a second behind pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.
"It feels very good and I am very happy with that result," said Ricciardo.
"We had a below average week in China with some updates we brought. We persisted with them and we made them work significantly better here, which is down to the hard work of the whole team.
"My communication with the team was also very good and it has helped us get into Q3. I was happy with my driving and I got better and better in each of the sessions. It's not always you have a day like this, so I can enjoy the moment, bearing in mind that it's tomorrow that counts."
He added: "Now we have to put it all together for the race and tonight we will be looking at all our strategy options regarding tyres.
"It helps to go into a race feeling confidence and starting from sixth, I have to focus on scoring as many points as possible, as this is the best chance we have had so far. I hope I am still smiling tomorrow evening."
Meanwhile, Vergne, who qualified P19, is under investigation for ignore the red light at the weighbridge.