Fernando Alonso has hailed McLaren's progress in the Chinese Grand Prix despite failing to reach Q2 for the third consecutive time.
Alonso will start the race from 18th position, one place behind teammate Jenson Button, after missing the Q2 cut by some two tenths of a second.
"We are in the position we have to be, and in the position we deserve right now," said Alonso after qualifying.
"We need to improve but in case case I think the progress has been very big in this race.
"We were nearly three seconds behind in Malaysia and now we are two behind the leaders, and two or three tenths behind the midfield group, so we have gained another half a second or six tenths in this race, so it's comforting to see the direction is the right one."
Alonso said the main goal for tomorrow's race is just to finish to continue learning about the car and the Honda engine.
"To finish the race, that would be a good reward tomorrow," he said.
"We retired with both cars in Malaysia and we are trying to solve many doubts and learn many things so finishing with both cars tomorrow would be a good thing for us."