McLaren continue to move in the right direction, but Fernando Alonso admits the Austrian GP will be "a difficult grand prix – a little bit painful".
With an updated aero package in his MP4-30 this weekend, the double World Champion made it into Q2 at the Red Bull Ring and then posted the 15th fastest time.
However, he will drop to the back of the grid after he was handed a 25-place grid penalty as McLaren made several changes to his power unit.
"The car felt good today – the new aero package means it feels more competitive in the corners," the Spanaird said. "It’s just a bit unfortunate that this is a high power-effect circuit, so we can’t maximise everything.
"Still, we’re moving in the right direction, which is very positive. We’ve had a lot of problems throughout free practice, so we definitely need to improve reliability, and we’ll have some extra penalties when the race starts.
"It's really a learning weekend for us – we’re running the cars in different configurations – but hopefully that will increase our learning. It’s going to be a difficult grand prix – a little bit painful – but hopefully we’ll get a lot of answers in the race tomorrow, and then use that data in the test next week."