Lewis Hamilton has said that he will put his faith in McLaren's straight-line speed in the battle with Red Bull Racing at the Circuit de Catalunya, having been comprehensively out-qualified by both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Although the 2008 world champion was third fastest in Saturday's knock-out session, nine-tenths of a second separated him from polesitter Webber, but Hamilton insists that the race will be a different proposition, especially as McLaren has traditionally shown better Sunday performance this season.
"What can I say? I think [the Red Bulls] are extremely quick throughout the high-speed circuits," the Briton admitted, "Throughout the high-speed corners, they seem to be ridiculously fast, and maybe have more downforce and efficiency than other teams. They have obviously made a slight step on top of that, which is putting them a little bit further in the lead, but it is great to see us up there, best of the rest. It is kind of a good foundation, a good position, for us to work on.
"We have got a lot of work to do, but I think this car has got a lot of potential. We are just going to continue working on it. There is many different avenues we can go down to gain some good downforce, but I think so far we have done a great job and the stuff that has come this weekend has been a step forward. We just have to keep pushing them for more and continue to focus on the areas that we know where we are weakest and try and close the gap. At least we can fight. [Red Bull] are probably not as quick as us down the straight, which is a bonus, so we will see how the start goes tomorrow."
Having already claimed that the inside of row two was almost as good as pole given the chance to get a tow on the long run to turn one at the Circuit de Catalunya, Hamilton insisted that he was keeping an open mind about his chances on raceday, especially given Red Bull's hit-and-miss record in 2010.
"I believe anything is possible," he claimed, "If you look at the last few races, they just show that a lot goes on. Our race pace is perhaps quite a bit better than our qualifying pace, even though [Red Bull] are very, very fast and obviously have quite a big gap on us.
"Generally, the guy that starts at the front has maximum downforce, clean air, so is able to just control the race from there, [but] there is a chance at the beginning of the race. There is a chance when, and if, the weather hits us, so we have to remain optimistic and keep pushing. Ideally, we just want to finish as high as possible and score as many points as we can, whilst [Red Bull] are having their good days and, hopefully, we will have better days than them at some stage.
"I think, looking at the next few races, we go through different circuits with different downforce levels. I have no doubt they are going to be extremely competitive through Monaco but, for Montreal, I am hoping we will be a little bit closer to them. At the circuits where we have the high downforce like we have here, they generally have quite a good edge on the rest of the field but, hopefully, when we get to the other circuits with a little bit less downforce, we will be able to benefit the same as the other people with good straight line speed and be a little bit closer."