Fernando Alonso says he believes both he and team mate Jenson Button had the pace to make the third qualifying session in China, before they were both denied a final attempt.
The McLaren drivers were both set to record one final flying lap in the closing minutes of Q2, but the red flag caused by Nico Hulkenberg?s loose wheel put paid to their chances.
?I think both Jenson and I could have got through to Q3 today,? says Alonso. ?We had the pace, and we had been saving tyres and engine ready to go for it, until the red flag ended the session.
?It was massively frustrating not to be able to complete my final lap in Q2 ? there really was a lot of potential in the car today.?
Despite the disappointment, the former world champion is confident that McLaren are continuing to make significant progress with the MP4-31.
?Not too many races ago, we were just making it into Q2, now we?re frustrated not to be in Q3,? Alonso says. ?That?s definitely a good direction in which to be heading.?
After being provisionally allowed to race following a medical check before being fully cleared to race after second practice, Alonso is sure he will have no ill effects from his still injured rib.
?I slept like a baby last night: 10 hours without waking up once,? says Alonso. ?Today I was full of energy. When I?m in the car, I still feel a small something through the corners and over the bumps, but I didn?t take any pain-killers today.?
2016 Chinese Grand Prix
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