Jenson Button admitted that McLaren being so close to Red Bull's pace in Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying was a pleasant surprise.
The Briton said he had expected his team would be "six tenths or five tenths off" at Sepang, but Lewis Hamilton came within 0.1sec of beating Sebastian Vettel to pole, and Button was within 0.3sec of the top spot in fourth place.
"It looks like it's going to be a fun scrap tomorrow," said Button. "We're a lot closer to the Red Bulls than I think people expected, and it looks like there's a big gap behind us. The first race was already good, but here to be pretty much as quick as the Red Bulls in qualifying is a little bit of a surprise – a good surprise."
Button had been quickest in Q2, but said his setup worked less well in Q3.
"I just wish Q2 was Q3, but it isn't," he said. "In Q3 I had a bit more oversteer, but that's the direction I chose. The balance was good but in the last sector I just hurt the tires a bit too much."