F1 may be heading into uncharted waters this weekend at the new Texan track but Jonathan Neale reckons the sport will see the "usual suspects up the front."
McLaren head to America with no chance of winning either Championship after a disappointing Abu Dhabi GP yielded just 12 points when Lewis Hamilton failed to reach the finish line.
The McLaren driver, who is off to Mercedes next season, had been leading the grand prix when his MP4-27 failed on lap 20.
But despite failure McLaren will still head to the Circuit of the Americas with updates for the car as the team has not given up on at least beating Ferrari to second in the Constructors' Championship.
"The failure we had in Abu Dhabi was very painful," the McLaren managing director said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.
"Having said that, we've just done 1,500 trouble-free kilometres with the same car at the (young driver) test last week.
"So yes, we are very mindful of the Constructors' Championship, but we are still taking performance upgrades to this grand prix.
"We are not taking an overtly cautious approach, but we are going to be very diligent."
And although the track is a new venue for all the teams and drivers, Neale is not expecting any major surprises to the pecking order.
"I expect to see the usual suspects up the front.
"Clearly it's a very close-fought Championship, and with some pretty tantalising battles up and down the grid, whether you're in the midfield or at the rear and fighting for those very important grand prix places.
"But yes, we hope - and our desire is - to do really well and to win the race."