Stoffel Vandoorne put in a mighty performance in qualifying for the Malaysia GP on Saturday, finishing P7 and outrunning Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard appeared to have the upper hand over his team mate since the start of the weekend thanks to a new aero upgrade fitted exclusively to his MCL32.
But that didn't prevent the Belgian from achieving a career-best position in the afternoon's ultimate session as he outpaced Alonso by over a tenth of a second.
"We weren’t really expecting to be so high up the grid. We’d hoped to get into Q3, but fighting for seventh was a pleasant surprise," admitted Vandoorne.
"In fact, my whole qualifying session went really well. I didn’t make any mistakes and pulled every sector on every lap.
"To qualify seventh on a circuit like this is probably about as good as it gets for us, so I’m very happy with my performance."
The 25-year-old is keeping things in perspective however, fully aware of the variances which usually exist between his McLaren's qualifying and race pace.
"We generally tend to be better over a single lap than across a race stint, so I think tomorrow will be tougher for us, but at least we’re in a position to race.
"And nobody really has any race preparation runs under their belts [due to yesterday’s FP2 red flag], so hopefully we can go into the race a little bit more prepared than the others and benefit from that.
"Hopefully we can make a race of it tomorrow."