Paul di Resta believes Force India will have a tough time reaching Q3 in tomorrow's qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Scot finished in 13th position in second practice after losing valuable track time because of a problem with his brakes. Di Resta said the car was feeling more competitive than in Australia last weekend, but admitted reaching the top 10 in qualifying will be difficult.
"I am not so sure we'll get into Q3, I wouldn't go that far," said di Resta. "At the end of the day Lotus and Ferrari and Mercedes are very strong here so doing that is very tough. But I think our pace in relation to Sauber and Toro Rosso is probably a bit stronger than it was in Melbourne."
He added: "I think we look a little bit more competitive than some of the midfield teams. It is very difficult to predict here because obviously tire degradation is very high. I think we've got an idea about the car and an idea about the direction we want to go."
Di Resta managed 20 laps in the afternoon and conceded the brake problems had been a setback to his plans.
"It's obviously not ideal because we couldn't get back to the garage properly to analyze it. It's nothing major – these things happen, you just have to trust what the guys are saying and get on with it."