Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has admitted he was surprised to see Romain Grosjean grab third on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.
After a promising preseason testing program Lotus had been expected to be fighting near the front of the field in Melbourne - but third overall was certainly better than Boullier had expected.
"Of course if I said I was expecting this then I would be lying," Boullier said. "I am surprised but happily surprised, and relieved.
"The result is a massive reward for Enstone, and definitely everybody at Enstone [UK] can be proud as we had a difficult 2011 year. This is the best reward we can get. Plus, on a personal note, I am happy because I endorsed Romain. He came back to F1 after two years and I am happy to see him delivering for the team, so both scenarios, both results, are great."
Despite the delight about the performance in qualifying, Boullier is keeping his ambitions in check for Sunday.
"We know the pace of McLaren is very good in the race," he said. "We expect Mercedes and Red Bull to be strong as well, so it will be a challenge. Historically it can be a very animated race with a lot of safety cars and action, so we will see."
Boullier also says there are no concerns about Raikkonen's form - despite the Finn missing out on making it through Q1.
"The pace is there, he just needs good fortune," he explained.