Fernando Alonso hailed a "good step" for McLaren as the outfit returned to Q3 at the Spanish Grand Prix for the first time since reuniting with Honda at the start of 2015.
McLaren has edged closer to the top 10 shootout across recent events and Alonso managed to move into Q3 for the first time at his home race.
"Today is the first time in a long while that I haven’t watched Q3 on television," he joked.
"This is new-shape McLaren-Honda’s first time in Q3 – but, in truth, we probably deserved this result a couple of races ago."
Alonso is nonetheless wary that McLaren faces a challenge to hold onto a points finish during the Grand Prix.
"For the first time this year, we’ll be starting on used Q2 tyres – we don’t have a free choice, which is a slight handicap that we’ll look to recover somehow,2 he said.
"Nonetheless, we should be thinking about moving forwards tomorrow – and doing that here is usually all about the start and the pit stops.
"Put it this way: I don’t think we’ll see too much overtaking tomorrow. That means we really need to focus on the start, and then look after our tyres because degradation is likely to be a factor.
"There’s still a long way to go, but this is a good step."