Fernando Alonso feels McLaren must work on improving its Formula 1 qualifying pace if it is to capitalise on its decent showings on Sunday and maximise its possible points.

Alonso is yet to make it through to the final stage of qualifying so far this season, suffering his third-straight Q2 elimination in China on Saturday as he qualified 13th.

While McLaren has enjoyed an impressive improvement in terms of raw pace year-on-year following its split Honda and currently sits third in the constructors’ championship, Alonso is eager for more pace to come on Saturdays so it can fight further up the field.

“The pace definitely is better than last year. In these three races we are the most improved team from one year to another but definitely it’s not enough when you’re not fighting for the top positions,” Alonso said.

“It was a tricky qualifying again. P11 in Australia, P13 in Bahrain, P13 here - so quite consistent around those places, but definitely we need to find more pace on Saturdays.

“I think on Sundays we are more competitive but the starting position we need to keep working on.

“Hopefully tomorrow the points are possible, I think [they] are very possible from the starting position as we saw in Bahrain and in Australia.

“But we need to find more pace on the next races.”

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