Fernando Alonso said he "drove like an animal" as he wrestled his problematic MCL32 to P13 on the grid for the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Spaniard was two tenths away from reaching Q3 and overshadowed his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne once again, who could only manage P16.
Alonso is doing his very best to spare McLaren's blushes as much as possible, and is now hoping for a "chaotic" race on Sunday so McLaren can at least be competitive.
"I was driving like all the animals," Alonso told Sky Sports F1.
"We really pushed the maximum. We felt really noncompetitive in FP3 so we went into Q1 with pessimism in the targets.
"I did the lap flat out in some corners, not caring too much about the risks over the limit. We crossed the line and I thought 'Wow, P10' that should be enough for Q2.
"P13 in Q2 is a big surprise for us with the expectations we had before qualifying. Now we need to capitalise on this position and hopefully bring some points.
"The rain will be good for us I think. In normal conditions I think it's unlikely we get some points. A chaotic race will help us. We raced a couple of times here in the wet so we should use that experience to take any opportunity."