Jenson Button was left frustrated following his exit from Q2, the McLaren driver believing he had the pace to access a spot in Q3.
Indeed, both Alonso and Button appeared to be ramping up their speed, with good performances in Q1, but a sudden red flag caused by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg losing a wheel put a premature end to their efforts as the session was not restarted.
"Tough qualifying," said a disappointing Jenson Button. "You wait until the circuit is at its best to use the new tyre, we had it nice and ready to go, but like a few other people we got unlucky."
Clearly, although circumstances have been unlucky, optimism is rising in the McLaren camp with Button claiming it's only a matter of time before its drivers are in a position to show their equipment's true potential.
"In the next few races, it will happen, we will get the best out of this car."
Still, with a three-compound strategy thrown into the mix blended with a little circumstantial luck, Button remains hopeful of achieving a good result tomorrow.
"The one bonus about not being in the top 10 is that we can choose our tyres. The wind also plays a big part here, if it's ahead wind on the back straight they're could be a lot of overtaking in the race which is good.
"And with three different types of tyre compound it makes it rather interesting. So we'll see what we can do."