Paul di Resta was delighted with his pace in qualifying for the Italian GP even though a five-place grid penalty was looming.
The Force India driver impressed at the Monza track on Saturday afternoon, posting a 1:24.304 to finish with the fourth best time.
"The car has been working well all weekend so I knew we were in good shape going into qualifying," said the Scot. "We were in the top five of free practice and the car has got better and better with each run as the track evolved.
"I'm very happy with my Q3 lap, which was my quickest lap so far - so we maximised it when it mattered.
"I think the entire team has done an excellent job to get us in this position - we've trusted our instincts and just worked away at dialling the car into the track."
Di Resta, though, will line up down in ninth place on the grid after being slapped with a five-place penalty for changing his gearbox ahead of final practice.
"I knew I was going to have a grid penalty for the gearbox change, which is frustrating, but at least I will start inside the top ten.
"The challenge now is to make sure we have the race pace and use the strategy to come away with points."
But while di Resta showed some impressive pace that same cannot be said of his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg as he didn't show any at all. He broke down on his first flying lap and will start from the very back of the grid.
"A very short and disappointing session for me. I was about to start my first timed lap in Q1 when I suddenly lost drive," the German said.
"I pulled over at the first chicane and the team told me to switch off the car. It's a shame this happened on a day when the car looks so competitive, but that's racing.
"Starting so far back tomorrow will be tough, but I will try and push through so that we can hopefully come away with something from the race."
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