Kamui Kobayashi said he extracted the maximum from his Sauber to qualify in the top 10 for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Japanese driver, who was disqualified from the season-opening race in Australia after finishing in eighth, will start tomorrow's race from 10th. Kobayashi said he was hoping to improve his position thanks to a fresh set of soft tires in Q3, but claimed there was nothing else in the car.
"I'm quite happy with today's qualifying," he said. "Of course I was hoping to improve a bit on my very last run, especially as, unlike in Melbourne, I had a set of new soft tires left. But I think there wasn't more to get out of the car today. Nevertheless the team had done a very good job improving it after some problems yesterday. We found some things overnight, in free practice this morning we still struggled a bit, but then we knew what to do.
"It was here in Sepang last year where I reached Q3 for the first time in my F1 career. The race will be very interesting, especially in terms of tire degradation in the heat. I am certainly aiming for points."
Teammate Sergio Perez, on the other hand, was disappointed with his 16th position, the rookie admitting he was hoping to be closer to the top.
"I am a bit disappointed because we had the potential for Q3 if I had got my final lap right," said the Mexican. "On my second run in Q2 I was caught in traffic on my out lap. On the flying lap sectors one and two were fine, but in sector three I had no front grip and the car was understeering a lot.
"Now I hope we have a good race strategy as I'm still aiming for points which, of course, is not easy from where I am starting. It will be a demanding race, but I'm looking forward to the challenge."