Lewis Hamilton says he never expected to beat Red Bull in Abu Dhabi considering their recent form, especially by such a large margin.
The McLaren driver starts in pole position ahead of Mark Webber who qualified over three-tenths slower with current championship leader and team-mate Sebastian Vettel further back in third.
Hamilton believed McLaren would likely be slower than Red Bull, but was surprised to see them so much further ahead.
“Red Bull were slower than we expected but I was faster than we expected,” said the 27-year-old.
“I knew they would be very, very quick but never imagined I would be this far ahead of them. I thought we would either be a match or slightly slower than them.”
The 2008 champion was slightly confused as to where their sudden upturn in form has come from this weekend.
“I don’t know why the car has worked so well this weekend, we haven’t improved it much. Maybe it just suits us here,” he added.
“We always modify small little things but it does very little. The car has felt great from the get go this weekend.”