Mark Webber admitted he expected his Red Bull Racing team to be more competitive at the European Grand Prix after qualifying down on the fifth row of the grid.
The Australian, second in the championship standings, will start from ninth position, four places behind title rival and Brawn driver Jenson Button.
Although Webber conceded he did not expect the Valencia circuit to suit the Red Bull car perfectly, he did admit he was hoping to be quicker.
"I expected us to be a little bit better here," Webber told reporters after qualifying. "We'll see how we go tomorrow in the race but we have been incredibly consistent and fast at a lot of venues. Even in Budapest, we were not slow.
"We were fighting Kimi for second place. Lewis was too quick there, but our pace in general was good. We haven't had many tough circuits. Everyone has had some tough circuits at some stage. This looks like it's ours."
The Australian claimed he was carrying a significant fuel load that he is hoping gives him an edge in tomorrow's race.
"I would like to be, probably only with the fuel load I have, one row further up. There is a tenth of a second there, but I mean every driver can say that - it's normal. We knew it was going to be tough to be really competitive in Q3, so I elected to put a bit of fuel in and see what we can get for the back end of the race tomorrow.
"It's not Spa, it's not Silverstone and it's not Barcelona. It's a different type of track and proving to be quite a difficult one for us."
He added: "Traction doesn't seem to be too bad. We don't seem to be able to run the downforce level that maybe some of the other teams can, so they have reasonable top speed but we cannot maybe run that downforce level so if you want run the top speeds that they are running, we'd have very low wing on the car, which would make it quite difficult. It's a difficult track for us to nail."
Webber, whose team admitted to be considering using KERS next weekend at Spa, said Red Bull would be analysing the situation carefully before making any decisions.
"We are going to be sensible about it and see how we go about it," he said. "We're a racing team, we are competitive, a lot of good people in our team.
"We're trying to bring this championship home as hard as possible and there's no-one in our group that gives up so, like most people in Formula 1, that's why they are here -- because they work hard. We're the same."