Lewis Hamilton says he is ready to fight his way through the field but hopes the pace shown Friday will at least mean he doesn't have to fight too hard.
The McLaren driver will start Sunday's Chinese GP five places further back on the grid from his qualifying position after incurring an automatic penalty after his team were forced to change his gearbox.
While the penalty is not good news, Hamilton's pace in Friday's practices at the Shanghai circuit was.
The Brit topped the opening session and went on to finished second later in the afternoon, just 0.172s adrift of Michael Schumacher.
And if Friday's times translated into Saturday's grid, Hamilton would be starting P7 which means he would not have too much of a mountain to climb.
"I always do like the challenge of trying to come through but it's incredible at the start of the race," he told Sky Sports News.
"Trying to gain positions while staying out of trouble is always key, but I'm really looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.
"Hopefully we can be as high up as possible so then the penalty is not too bad. But I think we'll still be in the race, in amongst the group.
"If you see at the last race, Fernando won from quite far back so hopefully that gives us positives going into the race."
Prac Two: Schumacher sets the pace