Kamui Kobayashi is adamant that his Sauber had enough pace to make it into Q2 after a disappointing qualifying for the Japanese.
The Sauber driver was unable to make the cut to go into Q2 after struggling with tyre warm-up issues, finishing down in 18th position.
Kobayashi is optimistic, however, that his race pace will be better.
"The pace of the car was certainly good enough for Q2, I was convinced about it and I also think our race performance should be alright," said Kobayashi. "However, in qualifying it took me a lot of time to warm up the tyres, and then in the end I was unlucky.
"I had just started my final flying lap when Felipe (Massa) came out of the pitlane in front of me. Although there wasn't enough time left in the session for him to do another run he didn't give room.
"I am disappointed with today, but I will keep myself together and have a positive approach to the race. At least I have some fresh tyres left and this circuit offers opportunities for overtaking."
Team-mate Sergio Perez completed a difficult day for the Swiss squad after finishing in 17th position.
The Mexican rookie admitted he was expecting a much stronger showing after a solid final practice session.
"This was obviously a very bad qualifying for me," Perez said. "After our performance in the third free practice this morning we were clearly expecting to do better in qualifying. The key problem was that we couldn't switch on the tyres to get them really to work.
"Knowing this, and given the fact that I had the grid penalty from yesterday, we decided to put only the used tyres on again in Q2, as it was better to save the fresh ones for the race."