Sebastian Vettel says he was not surprised to be on pole position in Abu Dhabi despite his problems during practice.
The Red Bull driver was unable to match the pace of McLaren in the practice sessions, as he felt uncomfortable with his car around the Yas Marina circuit. Vettel, however, managed to turn things around once more for the grid-deciding session to secure a record-equaling 14th pole of the season.
He said there was no magic to his turnaround.
"There is no box in the car that I open and get it from," he said of his pace in qualifying. "I would not say I'm surprised, but we expected to be closer than in practice, much closer.
"McLaren was very quick straightaway yesterday, in particular, and I wasn't happy with car. I wasn't happy with myself. Overnight, we tried to find out where the problem was. I think this afternoon it was already quite a bit better, but this is a tricky place with different conditions.
"In Q2 we were quite close to reaching Lewis and we thought in Q3 we would have a chance. In the first run in Q3, I pushed a bit too hard, but in the last run I was able to have a good start in the lap.
"When I crossed the line I looked up to the monitor and I couldn't read the lap time, but the green was good so I was very pleased."
Vettel admitted, however, McLaren will be hard to beat in the race tomorrow, given its evident long-run pace.
"It is going to be a long race, a fun race, as we have seen all weekend," he said. "McLaren is very competitive on the long runs as well, and they will be very quick in the race.
"Also we need to see from some people behind. We have to focus on ourselves, try to get a good start. It will be a long fight to the checkered flag. I am confident and ready."