As Mercedes suffered a significant drop in performance during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix, McLaren-Honda enjoyed opposite fortunes around the Marina Bay Circuit, even if it wasn't quite enough to secure an elusive Q3 berth.

Following a difficult two weekends in Belgium and Italy as the limitations of the Honda power unit left drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button floundering, the twisting Marina Bay circuit has given McLaren an opportunity to showcase its chassis instead.

Though Alonso had shown strongly in free practice to give the impression he would be a contender for Q3, he would ultimately fall short in 12th position, his cause not aided by a late yellow flag for debris on the circuit.

Related Articles

Despite this, Alonso says the result marks a big stride forward for McLaren compared with just two weeks ago, while he is pleased to be coming into a race with no grid penalties to take.

"I think it was not possible [to get into Q3] still without the yellow flag," he said. "Sometimes I am more happy with 11th or 12th having new tyres than 10th with old tyres in the race. So I think the situation today for us was quite representative in terms of achievement and position on the grid and I'm definitely not disappointed with the result.

"We were one second in front of Manor and one second behind Sauber - that was the team in front of us - two weeks ago. Now could have been are 11th, maybe 0.1s from Bottas, so it's the best weekend for us of the year so far and we are enjoying always being in the mix. We have no penalties, we start in the positions we qualified so definitely zero disappointment."