Having closed the gap in qualifying for the Chinese GP, Fernando Alonso hopes McLaren can feature in Q2 this weekend in Bahrain.
Last time out in China, the double World Champion and his team-mate Jenson Button narrowly missed out making it through to Q2.
Separated by 0.004s in Button's favour, the duo finished 17th and 18th, but were less than 0.3s short of Q2 berths.
This weekend Alonso is hoping that for the first time this season McLaren will progress to the second part of qualifying.
"The cars are very similar to China as there's only four days from there to here, so the performance won't change so much, but if the weekend goes well for us I think Q2 is possible," he said.
"There are many things we need to learn, there is a good programme of testing [for practice] with some aero parts in FP1, tyres and some other set-up changes in FP2.
"This is a key weekend for us to keep improving, not to concentrate on position 13 or position 15 or position 17 – this is a second priority so we can fight for important things.
"The position doesn't mean so much but as long as we make sure the direction is the right one."