McLaren-Honda's straight line disadvantage was emphasised yet again when Fernando Alonso proved almost as quick as the front runners in sectors two and three during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, only to lose a chunk of time on the long home straight.

Having shown encouraging pace in FP2 to end the first day of action around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez inside the top ten, Alonso had hoped to make good progress in qualifying, but would fall just short of the Q1 cut to leave him 16th.

However, given Alonso was always set to start further behind by virtue of grid penalties, the Spaniard says he can take heart from the performance of the MP4-30 around the twisty infield, revealing he was just 0.3secs off Nico Rosberg's session-topping time in sectors two and three combined.

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However, by ending up 1.3secs adrift by the chequered flag - with a top speed of 345.9kmh, almost 20kmh down the fastest car -, the eventual deficit would again highlight the car's performance issues.

Indeed, despite the limitations, Alonso believes McLaren can gain places in the race, even if he admits he wouldn't mind seeing rain too.

"In the race it will be fun to start from the back and try to gain places. Tomorrow with the rain we may have a bit of a crazy race and we can make up for that. Let's hope for that and that we can score some points. The more chaos we have, the better for us."