Lewis Hamilton has said he had to work very hard to claim his sixth pole position in China and is braced for tough battle with Ferrari on Sunday.
The Brit improved with his final lap before the chequered flag in Q3, with his best time of 1:31.678 ensuring he matched Ayrton Senna's record of six consecutive pole positions.
But Hamilton said Ferrari made life difficult for him throughout the Qualifying session and is excited about the challenge ahead, especially with wet weather on the way in Shanghai.
"Today was a real challenge," Hamilton admitted.
"We had to compile a lot of yesterday's testing into this morning and hope we'd found the right balance. The Ferraris have looked so fast. We knew it was going to be close and we had to pull out all the stops.
"I manage to chip away at it. The lap started off not as good as Q1 but it got better and better. I'm very very happy, super grateful to the effort the team has put in.
"It's more exciting than ever for me because we are really fighting these guys. That's what racing is all about and it pushes you on.
"Tomorrow is going to be an unusual day. I haven't driven a wet tyre this season so that's going to be fun.
"Ferrari have a very very strong car and can step up in race pace so it will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings. It will be close between us that's for sure."