Big challenge for Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton believes he faces "a tall order" on Sunday to make it a hat trick of Chinese Grand Prix victories.
Hamilton qualified second at the Shanghai International Circuit, remarkably finishing a staggering half-a-second behind Mercedes' Nico Rosberg who claimed the first pole position of his 111-race Formula One career.
However, after finally changing the gearbox on his McLaren due to a fault discovered earlier in the week, it means Hamilton starts seventh.
Considering the lowest grid position from which victory has been achieved in Shanghai is sixth, it is easy to appreciate the struggle Hamilton faces to add to his wins in 2008 and last year.
"I have a lot of work ahead of me," said Hamilton, the only two-time winner in China.
"Just moving forward is what I'll be aiming for and obviously to finish the race. Then we'll just see what happens from there.
"But to win is a tall order, so tomorrow the target is simply to get as many points as possible. If we happen to be in a position to win, even better, a bonus."
Unlike in Australia and Malaysia where Hamilton started from pole in a car that was then far from the quickest in the race, the 27-year-old believes he has found a better balance on this occasion.
"I've set my car up to be at its strongest in the race," added Hamilton.
"So although Jenson (Button) and I are a little bit further back than we'd like, and we've a bit of work to do, we can still make it.
"There's a good group of drivers ahead of us on the grid, but we're right with them in terms of race pace.
"And this is a track where you can overtake, we've DRS too, so I'm massively excited about tomorrow."
Hamilton was at least thrilled for Rosberg, someone he has known since they were team-mates in karting in 1997, remaining friends from that day.
"Big congratulations to Nico, it's fantastic and really done in style. I'm very proud of him," said Hamilton.
"We always dreamed of being in Formula One together, claiming first and second in qualifying, and it's crazy we've done that."
Hamilton will have team-mate Button two places ahead of him in fifth, the British duo sandwiched by Mark Webber in his Red Bull.
After joining Hamilton on the front row at the first two races, Saturday's performance was something of a let down for Button who was a full second adrift of Rosberg.
If the weather is again cool, Button knows he could struggle as he said: "Today is a little bit disappointing.
"Our race pace seems to be very good, but it's going to be tricky to get heat into the front tyres if it's cold tomorrow, which is not unusual for me.
"But that's the way it is and I hope we can have a good race from fifth on the grid."