Fernando Alonso: Q3 was just a 'mini target' for McLaren
First Q3 for McLaren since Abu Dhabi in 2014; Alonso will start Spanish GP in 10th, Button 12th; "Bigger things are coming"
By Matt Morlidge in Barcelona
Last Updated: 14/05/16 5:32pm
Fernando Alonso refused to get carried away despite leading McLaren into Q3 for the first time since renewing their Honda partnership.
The Woking team hadn't reached the final shootout since Abu Dhabi in 2014 before Alonso gave his home fans something to cheer by qualifying 10th for the Spanish GP.
But while the two-time world champion acknowledged the progress McLaren were making this season, he holds much higher aspirations.
"It's nothing really, compared to our goal which is being world champions," he said. "It's just a mini target.
"We need to go through Q3 and be regularly in the points and be close to the podium positions. That is something we need to regularly go through before we can be referenced as a team.
"We are in the right direction, we keep improving, but there's still a long way to go. It's good to be in Q3 but I think bigger things are coming and hopefully we see it soon."
Team principal Eric Boullier echoed the Spaniard's thoughts, adding: "I'm not sure it's that big. This is not the target. On the way to winning, this is one step up. We are on the move which is positive."
McLaren secured their first points of the season at the Russian GP and brought a significant aerodynamic upgrade to Barcelona, as well as one intricate new front wing.
Only Jenson Button used that part on Saturday but he finished over a tenth of a second behind his team-mate in Q2 and will start the race in 12th, albeit with a free strategy on tyres.
"It's been a long time coming over the last two years," he told Sky F1 when asked about the Q3 achievement. "Fair play to Fernando, he's been very quick all weekend.
"For me, it's been a really difficult weekend. I've adapted to it as best l can and one-and-half-tenths away from Fernando is the best I've been all weekend. So I'm not too upset."
Watch the Spanish GP live on Sky Sports F1. The race starts at 1pm on Sunday, with build-up underway at 11.30am. Or watch the race without a contract for £6.99 on NOW TV.
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