Eric Boullier has downplayed Kevin Magnussen's recent points-less run, confident it is all part of the learning curve.
Expectations around Magnussen were raised in Australia when the Danish rookie came flying out of the blocks in his F1 debut to finish second.
And although he was back in the points in Malaysia, a coming together with Kimi Raikkonen and the subsequent five-second stop-and-go penalty cost him time.
Another incident followed in Bahrain before a clutch problem put him out of the race while in China McLaren just did not have the pace.
But rather than get down by the mixed performances from his rookie, McLaren racing director has put it down to the learning curve.
"Obviously it's a completely normal process for a young rookie driver who is stepping into F1 with a difficult car to drive," the former Lotus team boss said.
"It reminds me of my experience with [Romain] Grosjean and [Vitaly] Petrov.
"They went through the same processes, and it's part of the learning curve, unfortunately.
"They are inexperienced and need to be able to understand the car.
"It's not helped by the fact that he has a car that is not so easy to drive [in China]."