Kimi Raikkonen reckons Lotus goes into the Korean Grand Prix in better shape than it has been for several races - but played down the new exhaust's contribution to that progress.
The Finn will start fifth at Yeongam, having taken his best qualifying result since Spa in late August.
"It's good for us to be higher up," said Raikkonen.
"We could have been in a similar position in the last one but I spun.
"It helps us, it will make us a bit better in the race. It's a safer and better position for the start.
"But the good thing I think is that the laptime is closer to the front, so that should give us better chances in the race because before we've been further away in laptime so we knew that it was going to be very difficult.
"Now I think we have a better chance to score better positions."
Lotus introduced a major new upgrade for Korea, including a Coanda-effect exhaust. Raikkonen was unsure about its effectiveness in practice, and reckoned the main reason Lotus had improved since Friday was set-up progress.
"Today was just better overall," he said. "I think the exhaust hasn't changed since yesterday."
The end of Q2 was affected by yellow flags for Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso stopping on track.
Raikkonen was among the drivers who improved at that point, but he was adamant he had still obeyed the warning signals.
"I lifted in there. It's normal," he said. "Then I went faster than that with used tyres on the next qualifying lap I did."