Heikki Kovalainen is confident he will be able to fight with the Toro Rossos in Sunday's European Grand Prix after outqualifying them on Saturday.
The Caterham driver will start from 16th position after outpacing both Daniel Ricciardo – 17th – and Toro Rosso teammate Jean-Eric Vergne, who was 18th after being knocked out in Q1 in Valencia. Kovalainen praised his team for the performance and is now hopeful of being able to keep the Toro Rossos at bay in the race.
"Today's performance was the result of a great effort by the whole team," said Kovalainen. "This morning we weren't sure if we could do it or not but both runs in Q1 were really good.
"In Q2 we opted to wait until the end of the session and see if we could improve on the Q1 time and while that wasn't quite possible we achieved the target of beating both Toro Rosso cars and that obviously is a great feeling.
"I think tomorrow could now be really interesting for us – it looks like we have the chance to race them and that's a significant step forward for our team.
"We've been getting closer to them in the last couple of races, but this track, the conditions here and the upgrades we've brought give us the chance to make good on our goal of joining the midfield, so now we need to translate today's result into more good news tomorrow and keep moving forward."
Technical director Mark Smith believes the performance shows Caterham has taken a step forward with the latest updates introduced.
"I am delighted with today's performance, as is everyone in the team," said Smith. "We were reasonably optimistic that the updates we have brought here and will have in Silverstone would give us a chance to take another small step forwards and the proof of that is seeing Heikki put his car into Q2.
"Now we turn our attention to tomorrow's race and the goal is the same as it has been all season – make sure we bring both cars home, take the fight to the cars just ahead of us and be there to take advantage of whatever opportunities arrive in the race."
Kovalainen's teammate Vitaly Petrov will start from 20th position.