Force India driver Sergio Perez says he expected to be fighting with Lotus during the Japanese Grand Prix and reckons he should have qualified ahead of Romain Grosjean.
Perez will start from ninth position after he opted to run only during the closing stages of the session, which were abandoned when Daniil Kvyat suffered a frightening accident.
Perez was consequently unable to register a time in Q3 and will line-up behind Grosjean, as the two teams continue their battle for fifth in the Constructors' championship.
"Starting from ninth place is not too bad all things considered and we can race well from there," said Perez.
"It’s a shame I couldn’t complete my lap in Q3, but the main thing is that Daniil is okay.
"Perhaps if I had the opportunity to set a time I could have been ahead of Romain, but hopefully I can get ahead of him at the start tomorrow because I think Lotus will be our main competition.
"It’s going to be a tough race because there are some quick cars ahead of us, but you never know what can happen here and we still need to see what happens with the weather."
Nico Hulkenberg expressed frustration after qualifying 11th, which will become 14th following his grid penalty for colliding with Felipe Massa in Singapore.
"I think my qualifying lap was pretty good and I felt I was pushing the car to its limit: unfortunately that wasn't enough, but I know it was our best effort," he said.
"It's difficult to know what we can expect in tomorrow's race: the midfield battle is very tight and everyone around me will make it really hard for me to get back into the points. I had hoped to qualify a bit higher to offset my penalty, especially as this is not the easiest place to overtake."