Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says he and the team will have to "create a miracle" if the squad is to overhaul Mercedes during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Vettel was third fastest in qualifying at Interlagos and will line-up behind Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, as he chases his third victory at the circuit.
"I would have loved to be a lot closer to Mercedes, but that was our maximum today," he said.
"In Q2 it looked like we could reduce the gap a bit, particularly to Lewis. I saw that Nico’s lap wasn’t clean so I expected him to pick it up in Q3.
"But then both of them did improve, and that was a bit too much for us, we couldn’t follow."
Vettel is optimistic that Ferrari will be able to exploit its comparatively superior race pace.
"Let’s see tomorrow, usually in the race we are a bit closer," he explained.
"In order to get in front of the Mercedes we need a rocket start, it is not a very long way down to turn one, and a good start always helps.
"Then in the race trim we are usually a bit better than in qualifying, close enough to put some pressure on them, then I think we can play around with strategy.
"Interlagos is a crazy place, lot of things can happen, you never know what a Grand Prix can bring.
"It was supposed to rain when we arrived, but then we had sunshine all day, there was rain as well but at different times.
"Our target for tomorrow is to give everything and it is our aim to create a miracle. The chance is there and we believe in it."