Sebastian Vettel is hoping his tire strategy will pay off in the Malaysian Grand Prix after another difficult qualifying session for him.
The Red Bull driver was the only man in the top ten to use the harder Pirelli tires for his final run in Q3 after struggling with his car's handling on the medium compound rubber.
Although Vettel said that he hadn't opted to go with the hard tires for strategic reasons but because he was quicker with them during qualifying, the world champion is still hoping it will be beneficial for him.
Vettel qualified in sixth position, the same place where he had qualified in the first race in Australia, but will start from fifth because of a penalty for Kimi Raikkonen.
"I didn't feel comfortable on the soft, and we decided to go on the hard," said Vettel. "Hopefully tomorrow that will be an advantage, we'll see. Hopefully I can go longer and that gives me a bit of flexibility in the first stint. We'll see where we are in the pack and then we do our best and go from there."
Vettel, who finished in second place in the season-opening grand prix, is optimistic Red Bull's race form will be stronger than it was in qualifying.
"I think in terms of race pace we should be quite a bit better off than today. But in terms of qualifying they are at the front and so they are the ones to beat. They have a competitive car. They had a solid winter and they are in good form. All this makes it difficult for everyone to beat them.
"I think we have as many new tires as the other top cars in front, so it should be a good race. We were much closer on Friday in terms of race pace and also last weekend, so that gives us confidence for tomorrow."