Sergio Perez believes Sauber has the pace to make it into Q3 on Saturday after finishing in the top 10 in the second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Mexican, who has not finished in the points since the Singapore Grand Prix, was 10th quickest in FP2 after what he labelled as a positive day.
"For me it was a good day," said Perez, who has qualified in the top 10 twice in the past three races.
"We have completed our entire planned programme, so in this respect it was very positive.
"I am comfortable with the balance of the car and, therefore, I think my position in the second session is pretty much what we are capable of here.
"This means Q3 is possible."
Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi endured a more difficult day as he struggled with the balance of his car, finishing down in 16th place.
"I definitely have to work and improve the balance of the car," he said. "At the moment it isn't right in any regard, but it is only day one in Abu Dhabi.
"The track's grip normally improves a lot here, which might also help. Today I didn't really manage to get the tyres to work.
"However, on long runs I don't see any issues with either the soft or medium compounds in terms of degradation."