Mark Webber says his Porsche team has a long way to go in the fight to finish top of the FIA World Endurance Championship season opener but is certain the 919 Hybrid is heading in the right direction.

The former Formula 1 race winner has helped his Porsche team lockout the front row of the WEC season opener at Silverstone, with Webber and co-driver Brendon Hartley combining their quickest times to grab pole position.

Although the Australian is pleased his number 17 car will start from P1 for tomorrow's race, he is certain the 919 Hybrid has a long journey before it can be certain it will challenge at the top.

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"People have a huge amount of expectancy on us which is awesome and we love carrying that," Webber said. "But we also accept the other guys have a heck of a lot of experience. Some of our sections have been good in form and performance but which shows our concept is going in the right direction.

"In terms of the big battles and wars we've got a few uppercuts to take before we can push on all the time. We'll put up a big fight tomorrow no question about it. In qualifying it is such a small percentage of the whole show."

Webber's team had been trailing the Audi manufacturer throughout the practice sessions at Silverstone but came to life for the 20 minute qualifying shootout.

The Porsche driver confirmed they used an extra set of fresh tyres during qualifying but felt it was a positive move after FP3 running was seriously hampered by heavy rain.

"With a mixed FP3 we wanted to make sure we would have a shot at pole," he added. "So we spread the load in the tyres, probably using one set more than we would like, but because we did less running it was okay.

"Most of the time we will have just one chance to get it right. There was a chance we'd have two chances [for flying laps] but luckily for us both of our first laps were good enough which gives us a boost for tomorrow."