George Russell has revealed was convinced he was going to be last in an "absolutely crazy" Q3 in São Paulo Grand Prix qualifying.
The Mercedes driver will instead start sixth, a position behind Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, after a bizarre session at Interlagos which was cut short by a rapidly advancing storm.
As heavy winds, rain, thunder and lightning descended, the order was determined by track position for what would ultimately be a one-lap shootout for pole and despite a shaky start to his lap, Russell completed his effort knowing he would not get another chance.
"Absolutely crazy, I have never seen a change of weather so drastic as that," said Russell.
"I was really disappointed with my lap, I was just sliding around and there was no grip.
"I didn't see rain on my visor, I was a second off and I actually wanted to pit because I was confident I was going to be last and ended up sixth.
"While it was disappointing and frustrating, P6 is definitely not a bad place to start.
"We did a great job, the car has been performing well here and then it is all about race pace."
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Mercedes had demonstrated strong pace throughout practice and qualifying, having opted against running Soft tyres in the only hour of preparation for the Sprint weekend.
Asked whether a podium is achievable from his grid position, Russell replied: "For sure.
"Aston seems to have found form again, it was surprising... where they have come from.
"I am hoping our race pace will be better than theirs.
"I expect a two or three-stop race, so all to play for."