Fernando Alonso said that Aston Martin still had a “couple of tenths” in hand for qualifying, after finishing a delayed and extended second practice in a strong third place.
Alonso topped the timesheets at various points during the session and ended up just behind the two Ferrari drivers by the time the chequered flag came out.
With Carlos Sainz hit by a grid penalty for needing new engine parts due to damage sustained in his close encounter with a water valve cover in FP1, Alonso stands a good chance of starting Saturday night's race on the front row.
"I think the race is going to be fun, a lot of opportunities to overtake as well, so let’s see tomorrow if we can optimise things," he told the media in the paddock after the end of FP2 at 4am local time.
"We had a decent first day, but I think we still need to optimise a few things in the car as everyone else," he said. "Let’s see tomorrow when we put the full potential.
"We will have a couple of tenths in the pocket, but everybody does. I think it’s going to be very tight. We saw today within two tenths there are like ten cars, so you need to optimise everything."
With FP2 pushed so deep into the night, chilly conditions had been a factor in practice. Alonso said he he didn't expect that would be such a big headache over the rest of the weekend.
“It shouldn't be too bad, I think qualifying eventually you put the temperature in the tyre," he suggested, explaining that the long straights and variety of corners meant the tyres tended to lose temperature at night.
"[There] could be a little bit more adrenaline if there are any safety cars or things like that where the tyres can lose the temperature. That will be a little bit more tricky, but it will be the same for everybody and we should be ready.”
After completing 38 laps in the extended 90-minute session, Alonso had a favourable view of the brand new street track along the Neon City's iconic Strip.
“It is an interesting circuit for sure with a lot of very different corners and these long straights," he said.
"The braking zones are interesting. [It's] a little bit random what grip you will get. I think the race is going to be fun, a lot of opportunities to overtake as well, so let’s see tomorrow if we can optimise things.”
Alonso’s team mate Lance Stroll also had a solid start to his vegas weekend, ending up eighth in the final classification, describing the venue as "fun" and "fast".
"It was cool driving through Vegas," he noted. "For sure a bit of a challenge getting the tyres up to temperature and all that, but we will see how we go tomorrow.
“It’s tight but I think we were pretty competitive today, so I’m looking forward to [qualifying].”