Max Verstappen wants rain to level the playing field in China, but played down a performance reminiscent of Brazil in 2016.
The Dutchman was a major casualty in Q1 after encountering engine software issues which led to him being able to use only four cylinders instead of six.
Verstappen is poised to start on the back row of the grid as a result and is set to show whether overtaking really is possible in the new cars.
"We had problems straight away – no power," said Verstappen.
"We're still investigating. It's not what we want, of course.
"It should be better if it's raining. We are not that competitive compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, but I will give it my best to move forward and overtake people.
"I just want to enjoy driving and pass some people."
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had a pretty calm session in comparision, qualifying P5 but looking behind to likes of Williams rather than ahead to the leading duo of Mercedes and Ferrari.