A normally confident Lewis Hamilton fears the soaring Montreal heat will melt his chances of a third Canadian Grand Prix victory on Sunday.
Hamilton lines up second at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve behind Sebastian Vettel as the reigning world champion grabbed the 32nd pole of his Formula One career, with championship leader Fernando Alonso behind him in third in his Ferrari.
The feat elevates Vettel up alongside Nigel Mansell in the all-time standings, with only Michael Schumacher (68), Ayrton Senna (65), Jim Clark and Alain Prost (both 33) ahead of him.
It was comfortably done by Vettel, finishing three tenths of a second faster than Hamilton, which is some margin considering in final practice the top 16 drivers were covered by a second.
But with temperatures up to 25 degrees centigrade, and with the expectation they will rise as high as 28 or 29 on Sunday, Hamilton believes that could count against him.
Referring to his car yesterday, Hamilton stated he would "have to drive the arse off the thing" to achieve victory.
But even that might not now be enough given his demeanour in the immediate aftermath of qualifying which was low key when it came to assessing his prospects of becoming a seventh different winner from the opening seven races.
"We just struggled throughout," said Hamilton, setting a front-row time on the sixth occasion in seven races this year, albeit with two of those times hit by penalties.
"Yesterday we had very good pace, but the conditions were cooler. With it hotter today I really, really struggled.
"Because of that I, for one, didn't expect to be so far up, so I don't know what's now going to happen.
"I've fortunately got myself into a really decent position, but now that it's hotter it's going to change things.
"It's going to be tough, so we just have to do the best job we can, try to maximise everything we do.
"We can still have a really good race and get some really good points from where we are."
Asked if he would be happy to stack up the points, Hamilton said: "Of course, I want to win, but these guys (Vettel and Alonso) are quicker than me at the moment, so we'll have to wait and see."
For Vettel, it was another one-lap masterclass performance as no-one was able to touch him, with the German now in the prime spot to become the first driver to win two races this season.
"We've had a fantastic weekend so far, with yesterday smooth, no problems with the car," said Vettel.
"We've learned a couple of lessons, especially from the last two races in which we were quick on Sunday, but we didn't get the car right in qualifying on Saturday.
"It was important to have a clean run, we trust the car we have, to go with the circuit, read the conditions, and I was very happy throughout qualifying.
"I was always able to get a little quicker, and although it looked very tight at the beginning, in the end there was a bit more of a difference.
"It's good, but the distance I have over Lewis is only eight metres tomorrow on the grid, so the race should be an interesting one."
Significantly, Vettel and Red Bull shrugged aside the clampdown by the FIA of late on their car.
Eight days ago Red Bull were ordered to remove illegal holes from the floor, while for this weekend holes in the wheel hubs have had to be blocked as it was felt they assisted with aerodynamics.
Vettel added: "It's not just a hole in the floor that makes all the difference, although from reading the papers you would get that impression.
"It was a shame it went one way then the other in terms of being declared legal then illegal, but in the end they don't have a big impact on the performance of the car.
"We weren't afraid it would affect us, and even without the hole it was good fun today. I enjoyed qualifying."
The same cannot be said for Jenson Button who starts 10th in his McLaren as he again struggled, although he starts on the more durable soft tyre compared to nine ahead of him on supersoft, which may work to his favour.
Paul di Resta qualified superbly in eighth in his Force India, the second highest grid slot of his F1 career.