Fernando Alonso admitted that McLaren-Honda were just not on the pace during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday, and feels there was not much more he could have done.
The Spaniard qualified down in fifteenth, and felt the team were under-performing in Japan compared to recent races, with a distinct lack of speed coming from the car as well as struggles coming from the balance of MP4-31.
Alonso believes the team will struggle to score points on Sunday, and believes they will need rain to show them more in a competitive light at Suzuka.
“After some strong weekends, where we made it into Q3 and were able to fight for points, qualifying 15th and 17th is not the best place to be starting Honda’s home Grand Prix,” said Alonso. “So far, we just haven’t been able to find the speed in the car this weekend.
“We’ve been struggling with high-speed and straight-line performance too, so it was difficult to know which way to go in terms of downforce and balance. It looks like our performance is changing from circuit to circuit, and we need to analyse exactly why we seem to be under-performing here.
“Unless it rains tomorrow, it’ll be difficult for us to recover enough positions in the race in order to score points. But I’ll be attacking tomorrow – I have nothing to lose.”