Lewis Hamilton insisted just being on the front row for the Monaco Grand Prix was a relief as he had struggled more in practice than on any previous Monte Carlo visit.
The 2008 world champion was outqualified by his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for the third consecutive race, as the German continued his pole streak.
"I have been struggling all weekend, just struggling with the car," said Hamilton. "It's the first time I have had that experience in Monaco since 2005. Every year I was on it, didn't have any problems.
"I am really happy to be here, to lock out front row for the team. It's just a massive improvement for me considering all the [practice] sessions."
Hamilton admitted that being consistently outpaced by Rosberg was not ideal, but denied it troubled him.
"It is a new situation for me, one that I seem to be dealing with pretty well," he said. "I have had good seasons here in the past in terms of being on the pace [against teammates] and this is definitely the worst.
"I need to correct this and as soon as I am able to extract the maximum from the car in the next few races hopefully you will see the true pace."