Alonso in pain - but only at missing out on Q3

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Back in action this weekend after an enforced lay-off at Bahrain following his accident in Melbourne, McLaren's Fernando Alonso sounded in pain over the team radio at the end of Q2.

However the two-time world champion was quick to confirm that the pain was mental anguish due to frustration at missing out on making it through to the final round of qualifying, and not to his cracked ribs.

"I felt very good today," he said. "Woke up with zero pain. I slept ten hours without moving which was fantastic. Today I was full of energy.

"In the car I feel something in the corners and the bumps but I didn't take any painkillers today or anything so tomorrow with some aspirins it'll be okay."

Until the red flag came out for Nico Hulkenberg losing a tyre out on track, Alonso felt that he had every chance of improving his lap time and making it all the way through to the final round - which would have been a marked improvement compared to the team's miserable 2015 form.

"Yes, sure, I think both McLarens [could have made it through]," he told reporters afterwards. "We were just passing Q1 a few races ago and now we're frustrated not to be in Q3 so that's definitely a good direction the car is going.

"We had the pace in qualifying, we were saving tyres until this moment, we were saving the engine until this moment so we had a lot of potential in the car that we didn't use today.

"It was the same for other cars I guess because there were some fast cars out of Q3 but it is the way that it is.

On the positive side we have a free choice of tyre for tomorrow in the race and hopefully we can maximise on that.

"The car felt better today than it yesterday so we need to confirm this in the race pace," he said. "I'm happy with the feeling and hopefully tomorrow we can get both cars in the points."

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