Andreas Seidl believes McLaren has slipped behind Renault on pace and needs to find "one or two-tenths" to revitalise its challenge for third position in the constructors' championship.
After starting the season with a stunning podium for Lando Norris in Austria, and with the exception of a remarkable result from a chaotic Italian Grand Prix, the team has struggled for form, but remains just four points shy of third-placed Racing Point.
At present, upgrades are being introduced in stages, which has notably included a new front wing, but the overall gains will not become evident until the package is complete.
“We want to make the next step with the car in order to be in a position to always fight the Renault and the Racing Points," said McLaren team principal Seidl.
"But, at the same time, we have to acknowledge that the Racing Point is a strong car anyway, the way this car has been put together.
"Renault, as I said before, we have to acknowledge they made a good step forward with their car and are, at the moment in terms of pace, ahead of us.
“It is important for us to make this step now and in the end it is about maximising the race weekends again."
For Seidl, his frustration comes not only from a lack of pace in the MCL35, but also from the team's failure to transform promising early race positions into points.
McLaren has registered 54 points from the last five races, compared to Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo who has accrued an individual total of 57.
“We have seen that even with a car which was clearly one or two-tenths slower than the Renault in qualifying, we were in a position to score good points with both cars and this is why it hurts even more," added Seidl referencing the performance at the Nürburgring where Norris retired and Carlos Sainz was fifth.
“This is the third time in a row we couldn’t score the points which were on the table for us but that is how racing goes.
“It is simply important for us to keep our heads down, not get carried away with it, work hard and make the next steps.”
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