Lewis Hamilton concluded qualifying for the Hungarian GP in P4, 0.417s down from poleman Sebastian Vettel, but the Brit isn't giving hopes of beating the Ferrari driver tomorrow.
Hamilton's early part of the session mirrored his performance in FP3, with the Mercedes driver never really appearing comfortable behind the wheel of his W08.
But a blistering lap in Q2 revived hopes that he could fight for pole, although ultimately Ferrari and Vettel prevailed.
"It's not been the easiest weekend but the car felt pretty good," said a disappointed Hamilton who admitted he was not surprised by his Ferrari rivals' pace.
"We made some improvements and the laps were generally good except for Q3," he said.
"We knew that they were quick, they showed it earlier today. We were aware of their pace.
"I don't know if they've made an upgrade, or whatever it is, but I think we did quite well considering. Yeah, the race is on!"
The race may be on, but Hamilton conceded that he will certainly have his work cut out for him on Sunday, at the outset, on a track where overtaking is difficult.
"I think it's going to be an easy breeze for them," predicted Hamilton.
"Getting past the Ferraris will be almost impossible unless they have problems. Maybe strategy or the tyres will come into play in a bigger way."
"Ferrari seems to have the upper hand this weekend and this race is usually a procession on a circuit where it is hard to follow, so there aren't many opportunities to gain positions. But we will be giving it everything we can."