Both McLaren drivers finished FP2 in the top ten, with Alonso tenth and team-mate Jenson Button eighth fastest. While the team has often been quick on Friday this season it has still yet to reach Q3 since Honda joined as power unit supplier at the start of 2015 but Alonso feels McLaren can stay competitive in Russia.
“I think to be close to Q3 would be good news for us and if we can get one car into Q3 that would be even better," Alonso said. "I think it’s possible, we know that results on Friday sometimes looks a little bit too optimistic for us and then tomorrow when everyone turns the engine on we struggle a little bit more but the car felt good, not 100 per cent, I think there is still room to improve in terms of set up, so I think there is a little bit more to come from McLaren and let’s see if that’s enough to be in Q3.”
And Alonso highlighted the weaknesses McLaren can still address in its car to try and make it in to the top ten on Saturday.
“I think if we manage to improve the problems we had today - a little bit of an unbalanced car in different corners and maximising the power which we probably didn’t use all of it today.
"So if we put everything together and we make the tyre work, which was the key factor today to put the tyres in the right temperature in the lap you wanted, if we put everything as I said I think it’s very possible that we can improve.”