Adrian Sutil has admitted that he is surprised to have qualified fourth for the Japanese Grand Prix despite being confident coming into the weekend thinking that Force India would be competitive.
The German was just 0.071 second off third-placed Lewis Hamilton, and is well-placed to take his second points finish in three races.
Although it is Sutil's first F1 start at Suzuka after taking part in Friday practice in 2006, he has a good record at the Honda-owned track, finishing on the podium three times in four starts on his way to the Japanese Formula 3 title three years ago.
"It was always a good feeling to go to a track you know, where you feel good and the confidence is there. Our car has performed well on these type of circuits in the past and we've had a strong weekend so far but we did not expect to be able to race in the top five, so fourth is a really great position for the start tomorrow."
Sutil added that the number of red flags made qualifying difficult, but that the balance of his car was very good in Q3.
"It was a long session, with so many red flags that we had to cancel a few laps and come in and then try to focus again. Finally it was OK and on the last few laps the car felt great.
"Third was also very close, just a few hundredths away, but unfortunately Lewis just took it right at the very end of the session! We had a really hard weekend in Singapore and it's nice to be back: it's just fantastic for the team."
Team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi will start on the last row after a gearbox change between practice and qualifying.
"We had a few issues in the morning in free practice with the gearbox and we couldn't test everything we needed to, including the soft tyres, which cost us a lot," said Liuzzi.
"The guys did a great job to change the box and get out again for qualifying but we had a lot of understeer in qualifying and it was not 100% as a result.
"To make it worse I have not been feeling at my best today so it's a combination of everything really. I hope for more tomorrow for sure."