Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were wearing long faces late on Saturday afternoon after being outqualified by the Red Bulls, Ferraris and even Mercedes' Nico Rosberg in Montreal.
But with the weather men predicting race-day rain, it is suggested in the paddock that the MP4-26s opted to sacrifice qualifying pace on the dry circuit for more downforce.
"It does seem they are on a different strategy and are maybe gambling with more downforce," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told German Sky television.
"We have opted for a setup that hopefully will cover both (wet or dry) possibilities," he revealed. "It will be an interesting race."
Both Button and Hamilton denied they were running a wet setup on Saturday but their boss Martin Whitmarsh let the cat out of the bag.
"Perhaps our cars had a little bit too much downforce for qualifying," he said, "but if it rains tomorrow then we should be in good shape."
Agreed Ferrari's Alonso, who is sharing the front row with pole sitter Sebastian Vettel: "We know McLaren will be very strong, especially as their rear wing is possibly better adapted to the conditions in the case of a wet track."