Fernando Alonso thanked team mate Jenson Button for giving him a tow which helped him get into the top ten in qualifying.
The McLaren driver reached Q3 by 57 thousandths of a second and said getting a slipstream from his team mate in Q2 made the difference.
“Definitely we know the tow here is [worth] one tenth and a half, two tenths, and we saw in the free practice and qualifying one that two tenths is even five places here,” he told Sky.
“I took a good tow in the last run and that was enough to go into Q3, so thanks to him.”
Alonso endured a frustrating race in Canada last year, arguing with his team on the radio about the amount of fuel-saving he had to do. However he said Honda’s latest power unit upgrade should bring greater benefits in Sunday’s race.
“I think our package is more competitive and on the slower circuits than Canada so I think these long straights and big accelerations are not welcome for the power unit we have right now.”
“It’s, as I said, a nice surprise to be competitive but there will be some races that we should be even more so. It’s a good sign of where we are going and the direction the car is taking. New turbo, more harvesting so tomorrow should be a benefit in the race. It’s not so much in qualifying but in the race you can spend a bit more time with deployment.”
“I think everything is more sensible now than 12 months ago so let’s keep going like that.”