McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl believes the changed design philosophy at the front of the MCL35 could unlock "a lot of potential" for 2021.
McLaren had run minor upgrades at each of the past two grands prix as the team continues to develop the car from front to back.
Conceding the full results of the upgrades may not yet be evident to the naked eye, Seidl is confident the progress will be visible once the full package is implemented.
"We are happy with how the nose was working," he said.
"We are quite restricted at the moment with the number of parts. It did what we expected from it. In terms of performance compared to the baseline at the moment, it is not a step forward really.
"It is just the beginning of a package we will bring over the next couple of races where we obviously hope we can make a good step forward in terms of performance.
"In the end, that's a new direction where we see a lot of potential going forward with ongoing development which we will see about for next year which is the reason we are investigating this direction."
The reason for bringing select upgrades to the track ahead of the larger package, explained Seidl, is to confirm CFD and simulation data ahead of the homologation deadline for the front impact structure for 2021.
"This is one reason we wanted to test the parts on track before we commit," he added.
"Then we know from wind tunnel testing and CFD what the different bits of this package are doing individually and isolated.
"There was enough reason from my point of view, from the nose scoops in Mugello and now with an updated front wing also in Russia, simply to make sure we get confirmation the nose scoops, even as an isolated part together with the front wing, is doing what we expect from the data we collected back home.
"That's why it was positive to get this test done and in terms of performance, it wasn't a big difference compared to the baseline at the moment and again we think it has good potential looking ahead."
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