Sergio Perez said he felt he has maximised the potential of his car after securing seventh spot on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Mexican racer led the McLaren challenge around the streets of Monte Carlo after team-mate Jenson Button was slowed by an issue in Q3 – meaning Perez was able to outqualify the former champion for the second straight race.
Perez will now seek to score on the Monaco streets for the first time on race day and he admitted that anything could happen on race day as he seeks to secure the best result possible with a car that the team admits still isn't showing its full potential.
“It's not great to cross the finish line, feel like you've just done a mega lap, and find that you're only seventh,” he admitted. “Still, I put in a really strong performance here today, and I felt like I'd really maximised the full potential of the car.
“We know we're not quite there yet performance-wise, so we need to keep pushing. But the team has done a fantastic job so far this weekend, and I hope we can keep the momentum going tomorrow and score some good points.
“Anything can happen at Monaco on Sunday.”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile said he was pleased with the performance of both drivers and backed both to race hard in the quest for points on Sunday.
“Today's qualifying session was tricky for everyone, as it always is here at Monaco, but Jenson and Checo both drove faultlessly,” he said. “For our part, we generally managed to get them both out on track at the right times, with the right tyres fitted.
“Checo did an excellent job to qualify seventh-fastest, but Jenson was disappointed to end up only ninth, disadvantaged as he was by a power loss that prevented him from essaying a final quick lap in Q3. We don't yet know for certain what caused that power loss, but we'd already seen signs of it at the end of Q2. We'll investigate.
“It was a pity because, as he always does at Monaco, Jenson had been driving really well. That being the case, I'm sure he could have qualified quite a bit closer to the front had he had another lap in which to do so.
“Looking forward, then, tomorrow's race will be long and hard – and, although overtaking will be as difficult as ever, mistakes will inevitably play a part in the race's unfolding drama, and both Jenson and Checo will be trying their hardest to drive faultlessly again in an effort to score as many world championship points as they possibly can.”