Pastor Maldonado reckons that Williams had the potential to be starting higher than ninth in Sunday's Indian Grand Prix.
The Spanish Grand Prix winner, who was fastest of all in Q1 at the Buddh International Circuit, admitted that an error on his flying lap in Q3 cost him a chunk of time and positions.
"I made a small mistake on the final corner of my final lap which lost me quite a lot of time so I don't think ninth is reflective of our true pace today," he said. "We were not as quick as we needed to be yesterday but we worked really hard to understand why and the car felt much better today.
"We're back challenging in Q3 so there are lots of positives we can take from today's qualifying, and our race pace seems to be competitive, so I'm optimistic about my chances tomorrow."
Teammate Bruno Senna believes he should have been challenging in Q3 too, having been sixth fastest in final practice on Saturday morning. But the Brazilian also made a mistake on his best lap, which meant he ended up 13th and out of qualifying after Q2.
"I made a mistake on my lap which is disappointing because I would have been in the top 10 if that hadn't happened," he said. "We showed good pace in this morning's practice and in Q1 as well as a clear improvement over the last couple of races so things are going in the right direction. We've been strong on our longer runs so hopefully I can make up some places tomorrow and get into the points."