Fernando Alonso is optimistic he can score points for McLaren on Sunday after qualifying inside the top ten. The Spaniard set the ninth fastest time in Q3 but will start the race from eighth after Max Verstappen's 15-place grid penalty is applied.
The qualifying result comes on an important weekend for Alonso, as he confirmed on Thursday that he would be staying with McLaren for 2018. Speaking about his session, the 37-year-old said his lap in Q2 was his favourite.
"The Q2 lap was probably my favourite one. Said to the team this was probably the maximum I could do," he told Sky F1. "P9, starting P8 after Verstappen’s penalty, it is a great chance to score points. We missed out in Singapore with the first corner incident, we were close in Japan with Felipe on the last lap even though we started last with engine penalties. Tomorrow if everything goes well then hopefully finally some points."
Speaking about why he stayed on for 2018, he said: "I love racing. I would race every weekend in any car and any country but that would be difficult to convince McLaren. Two or three weekends in different categories I would love to do."
"I had this feeling inside that we were doing things right on the chassis part. In Formula 1 we have all the data analysis where we lose out and if we put another power unit in our chassis, we know what we can do and that was probably the best news I had and what convinced me."