Romain Grosjean was bewildered by his performance on Friday in Barcelona, the Haas driver clocking in among the top six in both practice sessions.
Haas' disappointing pace and results at Silverstone - not to mention since the start of the season - augured for another weekend of struggles for the US outfit in Spain.
But Grosjean's lap times in both sessions put him in the upper tier of the field, leaving the Frenchman wondering if it all wasn't a dream.
"Is it real? Pinch me!," said an astonished Grosjean.
"I don’t really know where this performance came from. No one really knows – it’s the same car as it was since the beginning of the year.
"We’ve just been making some good set-up work since Silverstone. The performance there was really good, but it was power sensitive, here that’s maybe a little less.
"Sixth in FP1, fifth in FP2, then the long-run pace was pretty good too – we’re really happy with all that."
Grosjean is looking to input a few changes overnight, but the Haas charger is especially hoping to pick up tomorrow where he left off this afternoon.
"There’s a little bit more work to be done on the car to bring it more to my liking," he said.
"I hope nothing changes though, I hope this all stays the same so tomorrow we can go for a really good qualifying session – that would definitely set up a good weekend."
Kevin Magnussen couldn't confirm his teammate's pace, concluding FP2 down in 16th position, but the Dane reckoned a botched run on the soft tyre had weighed on his performance.
"I didn’t get a great run on low fuel in FP2, so my best lap time doesn’t look good, but Romain showed what’s in the car," he said.
"Running on high fuel, it was all very positive. The car seems to be working very well around here.
"It’s been very hot, there’s a lot of heat in the tyres, but it seems to be working. I think this track obviously suits us a little better. I’m pretty positive and very happy with today."