Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton remain confident that they can come through the field from their 17th and 20th places on the Malaysian Grand Prix grid and still take plenty of points from Sepang.
The McLaren duo were left down the order when their team misjudged the weather conditions in Q1 and waited too long before sending them out. With the rain having worsened as the session progressed, they struggled to make it through to Q2 - with only Button making the cut but then immediately spinning into the gravel.
But Hamilton is upbeat about their chances of charging back in the race.
"In the past we've come from the back and if anyone can do it it is us," he said. "Both JB and I are quick in the wet and hopefully we will be competitive and be able to pick off some of the guys up front and get some points."
The former champion said the amount of overtaking in Melbourne - and particularly Fernando Alonso's recovery from last to fourth after a first corner collision - proved that it was still possible to make up ground in a fast car.
"I think for sure the previous race is encouraging showing that you can overtake but it is different from track to track," said Hamilton.
"What is encouraging is our pace through this weekend and also our end of straight speed. There are a couple of straights here where we should be able to follow closely and hopefully if it is not too wet and visibility is good we should be able to slipstream quite a few cars.
"We also have to look after our tyres and it is about making sure you are on the right tyre in the right place at the right time. Let's hope all those things come together for us."
Button thinks McLaren's best chance of getting back into contention at the front would be in a wet race, though he expects to score whatever the weather.
"There is some luck involved in a race like we are probably going to have but that is what we need," he said.
"If it is a straightforward race we can get good points but to fight for the win is going to be very, very difficult. We will do all we can but it is going to be very difficult.
"If it is mixed up a little bit then I think we can have a pretty good race - there is more chance to have a good race. Whatever the conditions we do have a strong car, and I think we also are going to have a fun race getting through the field.
"It is not where we want to start, but we have to look at it from the positive point of view, we are quicker than the cars in front. Hopefully we can show that you can overtake around here."
Subscribe to Autosport Plus
Register for free