Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc conceded to being surprised by his pace in qualifying for the Eifel Grand Prix after dragging his car to fourth on the Nürburgring grid.
The Monegasque split the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon with a superlative effort on his final flying lap.
Acknowledging the SF1000 has previously struggled in similar cool conditions this season, with the temperature for qualifying around nine degrees centigrade, Leclerc was mystified by his improvement.
"I am quite surprised because especially with this weather I expected us to struggle," Leclerc told Sky Sports F1.
"The cold weather, from the beginning of the season we have struggled to make the tyres work in the cold and this weekend it worked out for us. I am very happy, very happy with my last lap. I put it together and P4 is great.
"There were some upgrades this weekend that worked in the proper way. We are not trying to find an update that will find a huge amount of lap time but small differences every weekend and for now, it is working well.
"Every time we bring something it is working which is the most important and was not the case in the past so this is very important and it helps us to build a solid basis for the car."
Leclerc out-qualified team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the eighth successive race, on this occasion by seven positions, but insists he is confident the former four-time champion can re-discover his old ways.
"I think the first sector was quite competitive but Seb is a four-time world champion and I am pretty sure he will come back where he deserves to be," added Leclerc.
"At the moment I am focusing on myself and trying to push the car as much as possible every time I am in the car and it is working pretty well."
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