Alonso was an early casualty in qualifying at the Brazilian circuit, pulling to a halt with engine issues early in Q1. The Spaniard spent the rest of the session trackside, at one point taking the opportunity to catch some sun, before heading back to the pits, apparently in good spirits. Button was at least able to complete Q1, but was also eliminated in 17th place.
"We saw the podium that close, and we said we will not be this close any more, so let’s take a picture at least and we have a memory for this year," Alonso told reporters in the paddock.
"Hopefully March will be the real podium."
Asked whether there was any frustration alongside his humour, Alonso added: "Unfortunately a lot of frustration. We need to fix many problems on the reliability side. Next year all these problems, all these mistakes, we need to learn from them and not make them anymore."
Button, meanwhile, said his trip to the podium was the highlight of his weekend, although he insisted there were still positives to find from the team’s performance.
"We thought we would jump on the podium - it’s been a while for both of us," he said. "It was a lot of fun - the most I’ve had all weekend.
"[The next podium] is not going to be over the next two weekends, I can assure you. But it has been much better this weekend. I think I was 0.05s off getting though [to Q2] - and it's definitely set up for the race.
"I’m a positive person. So much will change this winter - it will be a massive step."
Watch: Alonso on McLaren's Interlagos afternoon
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