McLaren's Button says excitement over Q3 berth "quite sad"
Jenson Button has praised the job his teammate Fernando Alonso did to get into Q3 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but insisted that this is not the kind of goal McLaren should strive for.
Alonso beat Nico Hulkenberg by 0.011s to claim the last Q3 spot, marking the first time a McLaren has made the final segment of qualifying since the team reunited with Honda in 2015.
After qualifying, Button, who finished not far off his teammate in 12th, said: "It's quite sad that we're excited by Q3 - but we are, really. It's been a long time coming for the last two years.
"And fair play to Fernando, he's been very quick all weekend.
"It's good for the team. All in all, it's not exactly where we want to be - just getting into Q3 - but I'm sure it's put a smile on a lot of people's faces, the fans as well."
Alonso will have to "improvise" in the race
While Alonso himself was happy with making Q3 on merit, the Spaniard expects a very difficult Sunday due to tyre degradation.
"Finally, we made it into Q3 without anything strange happening, so I'm very happy with this first step, to feel more competitive every day," Alonso said.
"It's probably going to be a complicated race. We've had a lot of degradation, all teams have, especially with the pressures we have this year, so trying to stop twice is going to be hard.
"With three [stops], you have to pass a lot of people on track, so it's also a very big risk - so we'll improvise.
"I'm happy to be in Q3 and to feel competitive, but for the race it's better to start 11th or 12th or 13th with new tyres than 10th with used ones. We have to deal with it tomorrow, but I'm happy with the progress."
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