Kamui Kobayashi has admitted that Sauber's performance in China this weekend has been more than expected - but he does not think it is a total surprise.
The Japanese driver secured third place on the grid for the race at Shanghai and, with the Sauber known to be good on its tyres while doubts remain about the long-run pace of the Mercedes duo ahead of him, he could be in with a shout of a decent result.
Speaking to AUTOSPORT about the performance, Kobayashi said: "For this week so far we have been quite positive. We are confident to qualify - so not surprised - but it was more than we expected with the final position. It is a great feeling and the guys did a great job so this is great for myself and the team."
Kobayashi reiterated that he was not dreaming of a victory charge at Shanghai, and reckoned it would even take a bit of luck for him to hold on to third place in the race.
"I think probably our car is better than we expected, but we never know. We cannot expect to be this far up and we have to look and see 100 per cent performance from the car.
"Victory for sure we are not thinking about, but if we are lucky we can get a podium, but you never know. Shanghai is something special, so we see on Sunday."