Fernando Alonso said it was a “bad surprise” for McLaren to fall short of reaching Q3 in Bahrain.
The team weren’t able to replicate their practice pace in the evening qualifying session, said Alonso.
“It was definitely not a great qualifying for us, it was a bad surprise,” he said. “We didn’t expect to be that far back.
“Q1 was already difficult to go through and then Q2 we were 13th, 14th. Not the positions we wanted. We felt strong yesterday in the long run so we had some hopes for tomorrow’s race. Now obviously the starting position is compromised but hopefully tomorrow we can improve the situation.”
However Alonso said the team understands the cause of its problems in qualifying. “I think we know,” he said. “It is very clear, we know our weakness, we know our strong points at the moment. Hopefully it’s a matter of time, we bring the updates and we improve our weakness.”
Despite their “poor performance” Alonso is hopeful they can make progress in the race. “We were not in Q3 also in Australia and both cars finished in the points so let’s wait and see for tomorrow,” he said.
“The tyre degradation is high, reliability is a concern, we saw Hamilton with a gearbox change. It’s a demanding circuit. We need to stay focused and hopefully take advantage in the strategy. We are not in Q3 so we can have a free choice of tyre, maybe that can help us.”
2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year