Christian Lundgaard says that he and his ART Grand Prix team will be working extremely hard until the Feature Race to find the difference in pace between themselves and Carlin, who locked out the front row.
The Dane qualified in P6 for Saturday’s race and admitted to making a mistake in the session, which he believes cost him a further 0.2s, but says even without the error, the car only had the potential for a top four finish.
“In the end, top four was probably the best we could have done,” he explained. “The two Carlin's were just quick for some reason. We didn’t get the maximum out of what we had. We probably lost one or two tenths, which is one or two positions.
“At the moment, the most important thing is to analyse why. If we gained those two tenths which I lost, then we are still around two tenths off. We need to find those last two tenths at least for tomorrow and then we will see what we can do. In the end, we just didn’t maximise the potential.”
Lundgaard began Round 10 in third place in the Championship and qualified in view of his main title rivals, Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott, who will start from third and fourth.
While he will be bringing with him the confidence of his Sprint Race win last time out in Mugello, the frustration of the Feature Race that same weekend remains at the back of his mind.
The Dane had led for the majority of the race, but he dropped back in the final laps due to a late Safety Car which handed the drivers on the alternate strategy, with fresher tyres, a better shot at victory.
“P6 is still not bad, we can fight from here,” he continued. “We are near Mick and we are near Callum, so we need to be ahead tomorrow to score more points.
“I think looking at last year, the supersoft degraded after three laps, so I think it could be nice to get rid of them and get on the harder compound. But of course, in the end, we could end up like we did in Mugello.
“The Prime option is the best, but it is a gamble - you don’t really know. The next many hours, we will spend here trying to figure out what to do tomorrow.”