Vitantonio Liuzzi admitted he was surprised with his performance in qualifying at Monza after a superb result for the Force India driver.
Liuzzi, replacing Giancarlo Fisichella at the team, is racing in F1 for the first time since the 2007 season, having hardly tested the 2009 car before this weekend's event.
That didn't stop the Italian on Saturday, however, as Liuzzi qualified in a strong seventh position.
"I cannot complain at all," said Liuzzi. "We're in seventh place for tomorrow and I'm really optimistic because our weight is quite interesting, looking at the others' speeds.
"We have a chance to make a good race, which I wasn't expecting because I wasn't ready - I hadn't raced for a year and a half. That's a long time to wait."
The Force India driver said he was trying hard not to make any mistakes in qualifying, and is now targeting a points finish on Sunday.
"I was a bit scared to make a little mistake and not put the lap together, but the car was well-balanced," he said. "There was a little bit of understeer in the final stint, and perhaps without that it would have been possible to challenge the Brawns.
"We have to see about the weather tomorrow because it is getting cloudy now - we have to hope that it doesn't rain. I'm optimistic that we can fight for points, the more the better."