Jenson Button believes his McLaren is quick enough to still salvage a strong Japanese Grand Prix result despite his gearbox-change penalty dropping him to eighth on the grid.
Button, who recorded the third fastest time of the qualifying session behind the two Red Bulls, incurred a five-place grid drop after changing his gearbox.
"Third place would have been nice to start the race but with this race you don't know what will happen," he said. "It is not the easiest place to start from but I think we can race well from there.
"The balance for me was great and I felt happy with the car. That was it; I felt I got everything out of it, still quite a long way off these two [Red Bulls]."
With both Saubers and Lotuses among the cars Button will drop behind, he is optimistic about his chances of recovering places.
"It's an unusual group of cars in front, so we should get some points," Button said.
However, the Englishman fears his McLaren will not have the pace to challenge the two Red Bulls.
"I think we expected them to be quick here. Their race pace has been quick in the last few races and their pace has been good here," said Button.