Pedro de la Rosa says starting the Japanese Grand Prix in front of a Caterham and a Marussia is already a success for his HRT team.
The Spaniard qualified in 21st position on Saturday, outqualifying the Marussia of Charles Pic and the Caterham of Vitaly Petrov.
De la Rosa was also nearly 1.5 seconds quicker than team-mate Narain Karthikeyan.
"Today I went out to give it my all and I'm happy with how it went," said de la Rosa. "The team did a fantastic job and the car's set-up improved notably.
"In qualifying I did two good laps; the second one was even better, almost perfect, and tomorrow we will start ahead of Caterham and Marussia which is already a success - more so at a circuit like this one.
"We've got to be more than happy with what we've done. Tomorrow in the race we will go for everything. The important thing is to have a good pace, look after the tyres and finish strong."
Karthikeyan will start from the bottom of the grid after being over a second slower than his closest rival.
The Indian damaged his car's new floor in final practice and was forced to revert to the old one for qualifying.
"I barely had any grip and on my last lap I went wide at 130R," he said.
"It wasn't a good qualifying session for me, but the car is performing much better and, although tomorrow will be a tough race, we will try and finish it in the best way possible."