Michael Schumacher believes it would be too optimistic to expect his Mercedes team to be able to fight with the cars in front after a discreet qualifying showing in Valencia.
The seven-time champion will start the European GP from eighth position, a result the German admitted was average. Schumacher said, however, that he was not expecting anything else this weekend, and is keeping his expectations in check for the race, too.
"I am OK with today's qualifying result which I would say was an average one," said Schumacher. "I might have improved by one place but in the penultimate slow corner, I attacked a bit too early, got oversteer and had to lift for a moment which cost me the place to Nico.
"But all in all, we came in where we had expected to finish. It would be optimistic in my view to expect that we can attack the cars in front of us tomorrow because I think our starting positions realistically reflect where we stand at the moment. So let's see how the race develops and what we can make out of it tomorrow."
Teammate Nico Rosberg was said he was satifised with his seventh place on the grid, the German having managed to save a set of soft tyres for the race.
"Yesterday was very busy with a lot of setup changes but the team and I did a decent job today to improve the car, so I'm quite pleased," he said. "It is difficult out on track this weekend and we have to be careful of overheating the rear tires; that will certainly be something to watch out for tomorrow.
"I was able to save one set of soft tires, by running used options in Q2, and this can be important in the race as we aim to score some nice points. I'm looking forward to it."