Nico Rosberg has downplayed concerns of him dropping down the order in Bahrain on Sunday although the pole-sitter does question whether he has the pace to win.
Rosberg pulled off a welcome surprise on Saturday afternoon when he posted a 1:32.330 to secure only his second career pole position ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. The Mercedes driver was 0.254s quicker than the Red Bull racer.
"Am I surprised? A little bit," the German admitted. "It wasn't really clear who was the quickest car over one lap. I was a bit happier than yesterday. We worked overnight to improve the car. I'm really, really happy.
"The team worked well last night to improve the car as we were struggling. It is a fantastic result, great for tomorrow, but tomorrow will be a tough day with rear tyre degradation."
The German, though, is hoping that Sunday's 57-lap grand prix will "kick start" his season. Rosberg has finished just one of the three grands prix that have been run this season, retiring from last Sunday's Chinese GP with a broken anti-rollbar.
"I really want to kick-start my season. It has been a rough ride in the first three races. Today was my first real qualifying," he said.
The 27-year-old shrugged off concerns that he could quickly fall down the order in light of the way Mercedes chew through their Pirelli tyres.
"I'm okay for the race tomorrow but for sure the competition is going to be tough.
"It's difficult to say if we have enough pace to win tomorrow, but for sure we are going to try and I look forward to starting first."