Lewis Hamilton is expecting "a train" at the Mexico Grand Prix but will "go for it" if an opportunity arises as he attempts to clinch a fourth World Championship crown.
Hamilton was four tenths off the pace in qualifying and was behind Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen in a thrilling Q3 session in Mexico City.
The Brit knows, though, he just needs to finish P5 or higher on Sunday to wrap up the title.
"I gave it everything I could. It just wasn't the cleanest of sessions and they were quicker," Lewis Hamilton told Sky F1.
"The car balance was fine. We needed more.
"At the moment there is no risk to take. If I get a good start and am in a good position I will go for it. At the moment that's an unknown.
"It's an easy one-stop, you can't overtake so it's going to be a train."
Hamilton conceded that he could have improved his final hot lap, but said it still would not have troubled either Verstappen or Vettel.
He added: "Those guys did a great job. I think the last lap could have been a couple of tenths quicker but it wouldn't be enough.
"I'm hoping I get to have at least a battle with one of them."