Vitaly Petrov was delighted after qualifying on the third row of the grid ahead of tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix.
The Russian, sixth quickest, was also the top Renault driver after a disappointing showing from team-mate Nick Heidfeld.
Petrov admitted he was very happy with the result and confident of a strong race.
"After all the hard work during a very tough winter for the whole team, it feels great to come here and qualify on the third row," said Petrov. "There was a lot of pressure in Q3 because I only had one run, right at the end of the session. So there were no second chances and I'm glad I was able to deliver the lap.
"The car has felt good right from the start of practice and we've improved it constantly during each session. I think we are in a great position for the race and that we can fight for some points tomorrow. I'm not too worried about the tires because they have been working well for us so far and we have not seen the drop off that we saw during winter testing."
Heidfeld was unable to move into Q2 after enduring a problem with his KERS and then getting stuck in traffic. The German will start from 18th position.
"I'm disappointed to be starting the season from so far back," he said. "It wasn't an easy session and I had a problem with the KERS, which meant I had to change some settings, and that cost me one of my timed laps. Then, there was so much traffic and I tried to find some free space, but it didn't work out for me.
"It's bad luck, but I must try and put that behind me now. As we have seen with Vitaly, the car seems to have good pace and the race is wide open, so hopefully I can move forward and fight for points."