In the wake of McLaren’s Russian points, Fernando Alonso is adamant the team is getting “better and stronger” even though they are still missing a bit of horsepower.
The double World Champion raced into the points last time out in Russia, finishing P6 to his team-mate Jenson Button’s P10.
But despite McLaren-Honda’s inroads into the midfield, they are still down on power compared to the sport’s top teams.
However, as the next two races on the calendar, Spain and Monaco, are not power-hungry circuits, Alonso is hoping for more points to follow.
Asked about McLaren’s progress and ‘how soon’ it will be before they close up on F1’s top teams, he told the official F1 website: “Soon! We are getting better and stronger, but are still missing a bit of power.
“My guess – and hope – is that at tracks like Barcelona and Monaco where power is not so essential, we have a chance to deliver an extra good performance.
“So the next two races are really important for us – and that finally Q3 is coming our way, for the first time with this project.
“Yes, we’ve been pretty close at times, so I hope that here and in Monaco it will happen.
“And from now on points should be our normal target – not the surprise. Out of the points should now be the surprise.”
McLaren’s chances this weekend at the Barcelona circuit will be boosted by a raft of upgrades with Alonso confirming they will trial new wings and floor for the MP4-31.
He said: “All aerodynamics – on the front and rear wing and on the floor. We need to test all of them to see what will be implemented. Hopefully we will see a good surprise tomorrow and on Saturday morning.”