Lewis Hamilton says he is very surprised to have managed to qualify on the front row for the European Grand Prix in Valencia.
The McLaren driver will start from second position behind Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull after recovering from a series of difficult practice sessions. Hamilton admitted he never expected to be so high up on the grid given his problems.
"I expected to be a lot further back," said Hamilton. "We struggled all weekend and into qualifying I had to make some guesses as to what setup I wanted, and it seems to work.
"I'm really, really surprised. The guys did a great job to get me a good lap and the car felt pretty good. The gap is still quite big so it will be quite a tough race tomorrow as always."
The Briton is still expecting a difficult race, and he reckons Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen – fourth and fifth in qualifying – will be the ones to watch in order to stay in the podium positions.
"The Lotuses look massively competitive," Hamilton said. "I think they are going to be the ones to watch out tomorrow. Sure Ferrari will be quick on long runs tomorrow. We need to look after our tires in these tricky conditions."