The Spaniard qualified a strong 10th, having even set the seventh fastest mark in Q2 to advance through to the final part of Saturday’s session.
“I really enjoyed qualifying,” Alonso said. “We had five sets of soft tyres, we used one in Q1, two in Q2 and the other two in Q3, so we had five chances to find the limit of the car, to enjoy as much as possible, with maximum grip and we were always inside the top ten.
“We really deserved to be in Q3, and then in the last session we must have missed the final tenth of a second to gain a few more places. But we weren’t dreaming about much more than this.”
Although Alonso feels his top-10 pace is genuine, the double world champion remains aware of the threat posed by the two Williams lining up behind him on the grid. Valtteri Bottas starts 11th, while Felipe Massa is set to launch his final home race from 13th place after a disappointing qualifying session for the Grove-based outfit.
“Let’s see what happens, if the rain comes or not,” Alonso added. “If it rains everything can change.
“We’ll try to score points, it won’t be easy because those ahead of us are quick and we’ll have the Williams right behind. It won’t be easy but here anything can happen with this very uncertain weather.
“We’ve been around 10th to 12th in the last five or six grands prix, we know that getting into Q3 is quite difficult for us.
“We were lucky Williams didn’t perform as usual in Q2 but tomorrow it will also be difficult to score points. If there are not many retirements we sometimes need luck to score points.”