Jaime Alguersuari has played down suggestions he and Toro Rosso teammate Sebastien Buemi are locked in a battle to replace the struggling Mark Webber at Red Bull.
"No, nothing like that," the Spaniard is quoted by AS newspaper.
Shanghai was the first time in 2011 that Alguersuari has outqualified Swiss Buemi, amid boss Franz Tost's claim that if one of the pair disappoints, Daniel Ricciardo is poised to pounce on their race seat.
But Alguersuari, 21, said he is not worried about the politics, and confessed he was "surprised" to be ahead of Buemi in China and thanked some "luck".
"All I want to do at the moment is get 100 per cent with the car and the tyres, and when I do that, as in the final races of last year, then I'll be at war with someone or other.
"But for now, no," he added.
Buemi, meanwhile - who it has been suggested is the most likely to be dropped by Toro Rosso - admitted he was "angry" after being outqualified by Alguersuari on Saturday.
"I have congratulated my teammate," he told Sonntagsblick newspaper, "but that di Resta has got between us as well is really annoying."
Speed Week quotes Buemi, just four hundredths of a second slower than Alguersuari as the pair both made Q3, adding: "I am happy for the team, less happy with myself."
He has admitted previously to working harder than even in preparation for 2011, arguably the most important season of his career.
"Everyone who gets to F1 is very talented," he told Swiss television TSR, "but that's not enough.
"Apart from Raikkonen a few years ago, it's not enough to just turn up and sit in the car," added Buemi.