Paul di Resta set the seventh fastest time in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix but will start fifth following penalties for Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber.
The Force India driver will be joined on the third row of the grid by team-mate Adrian Sutil.
“We knew we were in good shape to challenge for Q3 today and we looked strong throughout all the sessions,” said the British driver.
“As the tracked gripped up we didn’t quite have the speed we expected, but I’m still pretty happy with what we’ve achieved, especially as I will move up to fifth with the grid penalties. We’re in a great position for tomorrow; the car is strong and our long run performance yesterday gives us every reason to be hopeful of challenging for some good points.”
“The car was quite tricky to drive today and the grip level of the track made it difficult to complete the perfect lap,” added Sutil.
“My final lap in Q3 could have been better, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome, especially if I move up to sixth. The track suits us, we like the warm weather and things look promising for tomorrow. It’s a good starting position to have both cars on the third row and we will be looking to move forward in the race.”