Adrian Sutil says he is encouraged by Sauber's position in the pecking order despite enduring a 'difficult day' during practice for his home race in Germany.
Sutil, who has yet to score a point in 2014, briefly topped the second practice session at Hockenheim and eventually ended 11th quickest.
"It was a difficult day," he said.
"Because of the high temperatures it was not easy to find a good set-up. However, this was the same situation for everyone. Due to the extremely high track temperatures, it was tough to manage the tyres. Besides that, I also had a lot of understeer. I think it is positive that we are close to the top 10.
"The objective for tomorrow is to keep up today’s performance."
Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, who sat out the first session in favour of reserve driver Giedo van der Garde, says he and Sutil trialled alternative set-ups.
"In the afternoon I was trying to catch up on the programme as I missed FP1," he said after posting the 18th quickest time.
"I mainly focused on getting a feeling for the car. We are experimenting and trying different things and the two cars have different set-ups. During my last stint I improved quite a lot. Now, we are going to analyse the data and decide in which direction we should go tomorrow."