Italian Jarno Trulli is aiming to finish in the points for the third consecutive time after posting a promising sixth quickest time in first qualifying
The Toyota driver, currently lying in second spot in the drivers' standings, has finished in second place in the last two races in Malaysia and Bahrain.
Although the Japanese squad admitted before the race they didn't expect to be as competitive as in previous events, Trulli put on a solid performance and qualified provisionally on the third row.
"That was a pretty good qualifying session for me, and I managed to put together a clear lap to keep up my record of top six finishes from first qualifying this year," said Trulli. "Obviously we knew this would be a tougher weekend than the last two races, but we are still in a strong position on a very tight grid.
"Now we hope to capitalize on that tomorrow so that we can add a few more points to my season's tally so far."
Trulli was again the fastest of the Toyota drivers, outpacing teammate Ralf Schumacher by over half a second after the German driver failed to find the speed to match the Italian.
Schumacher admitted his lap had been clean and was unsure about the cause for his lack of pace after winding up 12th.
"That was a very tight qualifying session," said Schumacher. "It was obviously not a perfect lap from me, and it ended up slightly slower than I would have liked.
"I took it slightly easy in the first sector, but apart from that it was a pretty clear lap with no real mistakes so we will have to take a look at the data to try and see where we lost time.
"Nonetheless I think our car performs well whatever the fuel load so I'm looking forward to the race and confident that we can push and make the points. That would be a good way to keep up our strong form so far this year."
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