Daniel Ricciardo is convinced Red Bull can enjoy a stronger Chinese Grand Prix after qualifying in seventh position on Saturday.
The Australian finished behind the two Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, but he believes Red Bull's stronger long-run pace means he might be able to fight them in the race.
"I think it went as expected," said Ricciardo of qualifying.
"I think realistically we knew seventh was the best we could do.
"I guess we hoped to be closer to Williams on one timed lap. I think we could have been within a couple of tenths, but I think our long-run pace is more competitive.
"I think we can definitely fight for a top five.
"I'm still optimistic the race can be better. I think Mercedes and Ferrari are out of reach, but with Williams I think we can have a good fight."
Teammate Daniil Kvyat had a disappointing session and was knocked out in Q2 after he started losing power during the session.
He will start from 12th position.
"I was losing some power today and the team is investigating the reason for this," said the Russian. "I am disappointed but we have to keep our heads up.
"We are working hard to keep moving forward, at this track we have a straight-line speed disadvantage and we are trying to find a solution for that."