McLaren's Fernando Alonso is banking on an optimal tyre stratgey to collect points in tomorrow's China GP following a performance in qualifying which leaves the Spaniard on the starting grid.
Both McLaren drivers failed to make the Q3 cut in the cold Saturday session, but Alonso considered a start outside the top ten and the free tyre choice it brings as a potential small silver lining given Shanghai's tyre degradation issues.
"Tyre degradation tomorrow is going to be high," said Alonso.
"It's supposed to be sunny and hotter tomorrow so definitely take care of the tyres, choose the right strategy - the right pitstop at the right time - will make a huge difference. Points are still very possible."
Regardless of Sunday's prospects, Alonso admits that McLaren needs to boost its performance in qualifying, the team's MCL33 suffering from a lack of straight-line speed, which encouraged the Spaniard and his team mate to give each other tows in Q2.
"In Q1 we were deciding who would give the tow to the other," Alonso explained.
"I finished ahead in Q1 so we decided I'd give Stoffel a tow in the first run and then he would give it to me.
"I guess it wasn't on TV when I gave it to him because they never show that, but when he gives it to me, they do show it.
"We tried to gain a few tenths there, but there's still a long way to go. We knew it was very few days from Bahrain to here so let's see if in the next one we can be in Q3 in normal circumstances.
"We seem to be a little bit slow on the straights compared to the main competitors, so I think there is a potential to develop the car in that direction."