Pierre Gasly believes his Q2 strategy of running the medium tyre compound was a big risk to take.
The AlphaTauri driver is one of just four drivers from the top ten to start on the medium compound, along with the top three of Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Gasly made it through Q2 on the medium tyre, something his teammate Yuki Tsunoda and stablemate Sergio Perez failed to achieve, and the Frenchman said he knew it was achievable, but risky.
"The pressure was quite high," Gasly told Sky Sports after qualifying in fifth overall. "I mean, we talked to the guys before the qualifying and we knew there was a big risk, but we knew that there is potentially a big reward as well for the first stint.
"So we're pretty much in the mix, I was fast with the engine braking in my first lap, so I knew I could gain quite a lot in the second attempt.
"We managed to do it and it was close, but yeah, we managed to put a good lap in."
Now in position to possibly be able to join the fight for the podium, Gasly said he was thrilled with the way AlphaTauri are able to start the year.
"We didn't expect it, honestly," Gasly said. "We knew we had a strong package, but to qualify in fifth position and to go through with the medium in Q2, it's hopefully a good advantage for tomorrow."