MCLAREN STRUGGLING: McLaren driver Fernando Alonso (left) and team founder Ron Dennis at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez
Spain - McLaren-Honda is continuing its slow climb out of the doldrums of 2015.
Saturday in Barcelona was the first time the Anglo-Japanese's collaboration resulted in a mere Q3 result, with Fernando Alonso calling his P10 a "small milestone".
He said: "The next one must be to regularly finish in the points, then the podium."
Sub-standard 'power unit'
The team says it is doing all it can to produce the best car in the pitlane, as Honda on the other hand works to improve its sub-standard 'power unit'.
As it happened: 2016 Spanish GP - Qualifying
Alonso told the Spanish press on Saturday: "We have the third best chassis behind Mercedes and Red Bull."
Indeed, at the end of the long straight, McLaren-Honda are losing 12km/h to the fastest cars, but Honda improvements are also in the pipeline.
"In Canada, the first step comes. In Spa, the second," declared Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Jenson Button, meanwhile, said it is "quite sad" that McLaren sees a mere P10 as reason to feel happy in Spain, but former McLaren champion Alain Prost agrees.
"It is depressing for sure," the F1 legend told London's Telegraph newspaper.
"I would love to see McLaren back at the front. I still think Ron (Dennis) is the right guy. I'm confident about the team but there's a lot to put together.
"They made a big step from last year but they need another one."