Kamui Kobayashi is targeting a podium finish in his home race after securing third place on the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Sauber driver qualified in fourth position but will move up a place when Jenson Button drops to eighth following a gearbox-change penalty.
Kobayashi was delighted with his effort as he felt there was nothing else to extract from the car.
"I am happy because I think I achieved the maximum possible today," said Kobayashi. "After quite a few changes to the settings the car is fast again.
"From where I am starting I should have a chance to fight for a podium finish, and it would be a dream come true if I could achieve my first podium in Formula 1 in front of my home crowd.
"But first of all I have to manage a good start, and then I should have more luck than in Spa this year where I started from the front row but got involved in an accident."
Team-mate Sergio Perez completed another positive day for Sauber after finishing in sixth, although the Mexican will also gain one place after Button's penalty.
"My last lap in Q3 wasn't perfect but still good," he said. "I am very happy for the team that we have achieved such a strong qualifying result today.
"They have done a great job because initially on Friday here we were really lacking pace. It was a strong and speedy recovery and I'm confident tomorrow in the race we will be able to fight for another podium."