Lewis Hamilton admits he will need the "beast underneath him" to be at the very best for the Bahrain GP as Ferrari will be "very hard to beat".
The two-time World Champion once again proved his one-lap speed as he made it four from four in terms of qualifying at the Sakhir circuit on Saturday, getting the better of Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrai while Nico Rosberg will start P3 in the other Mercedes.
Hamilton, though, was happy with his pace during Q3 – his 1:32.571 edging Vettel by 0.411s – and he admits a lot of it has to do with the "beast" he is driving.
"I feel great. I feel very happy," he said. "Obviously coming into the weekend that was the target to really try and master this track and get the car into an area that I'm comfortable with. That is generally how it the weekend has gone. The laps were pretty good, you can always improve.
"I'm really grateful to have this beast underneath me which I can really attack these corners with. It's a great feeling."
Ferrari, though, have already proved in China that they have what it takes to beat Mercedes on a race day and Hamilton expects another big challenge from them come Sunday evening.
Asked about Vettel getting the better of him at Sepang, he replied: "We've gone over tons of times what we've learned but it doesn't get us away from the fact that they are very quick this weekend and will be very hard to beat tomorrow.
"They have great race-pace but hopefully our position will help and we'll be taking all the measures we can to make the tyres go as long as they do."