McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe insists the Woking squad are not out of the running for the World Championships.
Although title leader Fernando Alonso suffered a DNF in Japan, Jenson Button could only manage to finish P4 while Lewis Hamilton finished behind his team-mate in fifth. Hamilton remains best positioned of the two McLaren drivers as he is 42 points adrift of Alonso while Button is another 21 points behind.
With only five races left in the season, many have written McLaren's chances off but Lowe feels if they could haul themselves back into the race by claiming a couple of 1-2 finishes.
"You've only got to look how [Sebastian] Vettel has gained on [Fernando] Alonso just on the last two races," he told Sky Sports News.
"There are a lot of points on the table: forty three if you get a one-two. That's been very elusive [for McLaren].
"But if we can do that, even if the other guys get third and fourth, that is a very big points haul."