Lewis Hamilton expects a tough battle to turn pole position into another race win at the Russian Grand Prix, despite setting the pace in qualifying.
Championship leader Hamilton appeared in serious danger of going out in Q2 after a spin for Sebastian Vettel forced a delay to proceedings.
However, after a close shave to make it through to Q3, the Mercedes driver went on to finish comfortably clear of the rest, putting him on course to match Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race wins on Sunday.
The Briton admitted he had done it the hard way during the session but the drama was not confined to the track, as race stewards summoned Hamilton over a breach of FIA regulations.
"It was one of the worst qualifying sessions - it was horrible," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 ahead of his meeting with the stewards.
"Heart in your mouth the whole way. I got the lap time taken away, which is the first time I've gone wide there the whole weekend. I wanted to stay out and do another lap just to get a banker but they said, 'Come in and get new tyres'. Then the red flag came out. It was a real risk once we got out on that next tyre at the end.
"Ultimately I'm starting on the soft tyre which is not good. It's nice being on pole, but here it's probably the worst place to be on pole with the draggier cars this year.
"I'm most likely going to get dragged past tomorrow. Both the cars I'm racing against are both on the medium, so it's definitely going to make it hard to win the race.
"Nonetheless I'm going to stay positive, try and figure out how I'm going to navigate my way through, get a good start or whatever it may be, and we'll see."
Hamilton was one of four drivers called to see the stewards for not returning to the track in the correct manner during qualifying.
As it stands, Max Verstappen will start from second place on the grid. The Red Bull driver snatched the position from Valtteri Bottas, denying Mercedes a front-row lockout as they aim to see Hamilton clinch a record-equalling victory.
"We were struggling a bit to find the right balance with the car on this track, it's quite slippery around here," Verstappen said to Sky Sports F1.
"Even this morning I was not entirely happy but through qualifying we were really working on trying to nail the balance and in Q3 the final run especially was not bad.
"To be second on the grid I didn't expect, so very pleased for that."