Sauber will have two cars starting inside the top ten of an F1 race for the first time since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix after both Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson cracked the Q3 in China.

A continuation of the strong form displayed by the Swiss team since the start of the season, both Nasr and Ericsson came good on their top ten free practice pace when it mattered, squeezing into Q3 before qualifying ninth and tenth respectively.

A performance that Nasr feels Sauber can be proud of, the Brazilian even believes he could have gone faster had he not lost a 'flap' from his car during Q3.

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"It was a good qualifying for the team and we should be happy with the result," he said. "I could feel already from the first time we were on track this weekend that things were back to normal. The car was handling as it should and it gave me enough time to work on the set-up and explore the time on the track. This all paid off in qualifying and it is good to be where the car can be, so we maximised our performance today and we should be happy about it.

"If you look back in all of the free practice sessions, we were always in there. On that last lap in Q3, one of the front flaps came off and we lost some downforce there, which cost me two tenths, so there was a bit more to come."

Fresh from his maiden Q3 appearance in Malaysia, Ericsson was pleased to follow suit in China, though he is hoping to capitalise on it better than he managed in Sepang when he spun out early on.

"We know we have a strong package but it could have been anywhere between P8 and being out in Q1! It was really close, so it was all about getting the car into the sweet spot and not make any mistakes. We knew it was possible but it is great achievement to get both cars there.

"It is encouraging for tomorrow that we have a car that can't quite maximise new tyre grip, but on used tyres we seem to be really good and the feeling in the car is really good. It is key to get a good qualifying because we have a good straight line speed, so hopefully we can make life difficult if someone tries to overtake, so for sure we need to aim for double points' scoring position."