Lewis Hamilton is hoping to turn his second pole of the season into his first win but admits it's a "long haul" down to Turn One.
Hamilton started the season-opening Australian GP on pole position but lost out to his team-mate Jenson Button on the run in to the first corner. The 2008 World Champ eventually finished third.
This weekend in Malaysia he is again starting at the very front of the grid after clocking a 1:36.219 in Saturday's qualifying, which put him 0.149s up on Button.
"It's been a good weekend so far," said Hamilton. "I think it's been a tough day to be honest with the changeable weather conditions and the temperatures climbing.
"Made some set up changes to the car, nonetheless we still managed to do some good times but obviously got these guys pushing very hard behind but the guys in the factory are doing a fantastic job."
Speaking about his fight for pole position, Hamilton added: "I think the first lap was quite good. I think I lost a bit of time in the last corner but the first corner was fine.
"I think I had a small oversteer moment but it didn't cost me any time. Then the rest of the lap seemed to come together quite well.
"I pushed probably a little too much in the last corner and went a bit wide, but fortunately I was able to minimise the amount I lost."
As for Sunday's 56-lap race, the McLaren driver admits it won't be an easy grand prix as there are several factors from the weather to tyre wear at play.
"It's a very long haul down to Turn One. Just in the conditions, you never know what's going to happen, the changeable conditions. I hope it stays dry.
"But these tyres are having a seriously hard time around here, especially under 150 kilos of fuel. It's going to be interesting.
"I don't know how it's going to go but I'll do everything I can to make sure we're as competitive as possible."