Lewis Hamilton says McLaren has no reason to be downcast after narrowly missing out on pole position in Malaysia, given how much it has closed the gap on Red Bull since Australia.
Sebastian Vettel edged Hamilton for the top spot on the Sepang grid at the end of Q3, but while the Red Bull had been 0.8sec clear of the field in Melbourne, this weekend the margin was just 0.1sec.
"I don't think we can be disappointed," said Hamilton. "Going into the last race we did a fantastic job to be up there on the Red Bulls.
"I'm proud to be getting some new parts this weekend, we can be happy with it. I would have loved to be on the front row and be on P1, but these guys still have the slight edge. We have closed the gap a little bit, it seems here. The lap wasn't perfect, so I have to improve on that."
Although McLaren had looked like a match for Red Bull in practice, Hamilton admitted he had suspected the champion team would pull away in qualifying trim.
"We always expected they might have a little bit in hand, especially going into the last run, they normally tend to pull something out of the bag, and they pull a bit of pace toward the end of Q3," he said. "On my lap we lost a little bit of time in one corner, so I cannot be too disappointed."