Lando Norris made a surprise prediction about McLaren's expected qualifying position after he was left "disappointed" with his lap that put him seventh on the grid.
It was his first appearance in Q3 after McLaren struggled to hit the ground running in the first three races of the season.
Norris says the team would have "100% taken" a top 10 position prior to Baku, but feels there was still more time to be gained with their upgrades they brought to the track for the weekend.
"Definitely before today, 100% we would have taken it [a top ten result]," he told Sky Sports.
"I think it's a great result, but I think with the sequence of the upgrades working well and the car working well on this circuit at the same time. I feel like I did a better job of my driving and things, I should've been a lot better really.
"Really, I think we should have been P4 today.
"I'm a bit disappointed, honestly. We as a team didn't do the best job of making the correct decisions of what to do. But apart from that things were still positive.
"We just put ourselves in the middle of nowhere with P7 today and not being able to do the runs tomorrow with a new tyre."
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Norris: Baku street track suits us a lot more
McLaren has been working hard to turn around their fortunes after a troubled start to their 2023 season, which included missing their targets on car development pre-season.
Their main problem has been the amount of drag on the car, which has affected their race pace and led to both Norris and Oscar Piastri struggling. The new updates have enabled the team to run a lower downforce setup at the high speed Baku street circuit.
"We've been pushing hard to try and get some drag off the car, so we were running a much lower downforce [setup]. The new floor is working well, and just adding these little things here and there, which always adds up," explained Norris.
"I think we're good in the braking zones. If you look at Australia, we weren't that bad. It's just we've added to that and maybe this track suits us again."
He believes the team did not "maximise" their chances, which ultimately led to their unfulfilled potential.
"We just didn't maximise today and at the same time, we're not going to be able to maximise tomorrow," he added.