McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale insists the squad have managed to get to the bottom of the problems that dogged the MP4-28 and are hopeful they can move forward now.
The Woking squad have made poor start to the 2013 campaign as they were well off the qualifying pace off the front runners in both Australia and Malaysia while they have also picked up only four points to date thanks to a P9 each by Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.
However, the team's technical department have had three weeks to come to grips with the problems and Neale feels they are close to ironing them out.
"I believe we do know where the problems on the car are but in order to be absolutely sure about that we need to run the package that we're going to run in China," he said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.
"So the work on Friday is a very key element to it. As always with cars, there's no one thing or one magic bullet, there are a number of things that will restore the performance of the car.
"And we believe that we've got an underlying very good package, but it's clearly not the performance that we predicted.
"So I think if you asked that question at the end of the Chinese weekend we'd have more confidence but we have a great group of people, everyone's working very hard and we've been buoyed by the effort and the hard work of Sergio and Jenson who had have been tremendously tolerant and hard working for us both in the car and out of the car.
"I certainly believe we're on the right track now and we do have an idea where the problems are."
Although Button and Perez are already 38 points behind defending World Champion and 2013 pace setter Sebastian Vettel in the standings, Neale warns that it is far too early to write the team off as there are still 17 races left in the campaign.
"It's a long season as everyone knows and here we are in the first half of April and we're going to race through until the end of November," he said.
"We've seen in previous years teams start with a car that wasn't on pole position but fight it out for a Championship right at the end.
"Everything that we're doing here is designed to put us back into, first of all, winning form because we are about winning races - that's why McLaren exists - and I think if we can get on that quickly, and there's no reason at the moment why we can't, we should be fighting through the championship.
"It's obviously not an ideal start, we can't shy away from that, but I believe in the team and I believe in this car at the moment. So let's push on and see what happens."