Mark Webber has admitted that he was taken aback by Red Bull Racing's qualifying pace after he and team-mate Sebastian Vettel both claimed top three places on the grid.
Although it was the German who claimed pole position from Lewis Hamilton, Webber was delighted to be lining up on the inside of row two, as RBR had had to give best to McLaren and Mercedes through the first three races of the season. Although there were no major technical differences on the RB8s, Red Bull has continued to tweak its car since the Chinese GP, in which Webber and Vettel finished fourth and fifth, last weekend. Vettel also opted to join Webber in running the latest version of the car's exhaust.
The battle for pole was resolved in Vettel's favour despite the German not being the last man out on track, but the final phase of qualifying did not follow its predecessors, where rising temperatures benefited those running late.
"I think it's always beneficial if you can go a bit later, especially today, but you know we take it in turns at each race and this track looked particularly sensitive to that all weekend," Webber said, noting that it was Vettel's turn to get the late run, "In the end, Seb did a good lap - it was a good pole and we're satisfied with being towards the front.
"There have been some big gaps to the opposition, on Saturday in particular, so I think we're pretty surprised to be as competitive as we are on a track that is demanding of probably not some of our strengths. But we're at the front and we can definitely race from there."
Webber dismissed a minor lock-up on what could have been his best lap, insisting that it had not had an effect, but admitted that he had been caught out by the speed at which he caught a slower car.
"[The lock-up] was not too bad, but I didn't leave enough of a gap to Paul [di Resta]," he explained, "I was surprised by how much I closed on him and got him a little bit in turn 13, so I lost a little bit there. That was the only thing I would have liked to have done better, given him a better gap, but it was a pretty good session."