McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale has vowed that the team will come out fighting after the F1 summer break after admitted that he expects a huge battle to continue between McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari.
The team went into the summer break on the back of successive victories in Germany and Hungary, although Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel retain a big lead in both championships ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.
Despite those victories, Neale said he didn't feel McLaren suddenly has an upper hand in performance terms over Red Bull and still has plenty of work to do if it is to add to its win tally when racing resumes this weekend.
"I don't regard us as having the upper hand,” he said. “I think we scored two well deserved victories and I'd even argue that we should have been able to convert Lewis' and Jenson's positions in Hungary in to a one-two, so some disappointment there. I don't think we have a dominant or a comfortable position by any means, we certainly not treating it like that and we're very much pushing very hard on our development programme with the MP4-26.
“While it was very pleasing for both drivers to get wins in both Germany and Hungary, we know we've still got a lot of work to do and I wouldn't want to suggest for a minute that there's any either complacency or unnecessary comfort at this end. The next few races are going to be hard fought. I think that certainly Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren all have cars that are capable of winning races, and we have to keep our focus and keep our momentum as we go through the next two low-downforce races as we look towards Singapore when we start to see some changes in the circuit characteristics."
Neale's comments came after Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali revealed that the Italian team is switching much of its focus to its 2012 car with McLaren also reaching the point at which is needs to decide how much time it devotes to developing its current car.
"There is still a reasonable amount to do in terms of development with the MP4-26,” he said. “Formula One is governed - and rightly so - by a resource restriction agreement, which all the teams are signed up to. That means that each team broadly has the same resources, and there's no way that anybody can, by regulation, either spend their way out of trouble or pile in a whole new load of resource that doesn't exist.
"So we have to make choices, and at some point we're all faced with the choice of 'what do we do in terms of next year's car versus of this year's car?' At the moment I think that we've got the balance right and we continue to develop the MP4-26. There are a series of upgrades planned for this next two races and a package for Singapore as well, and I think we'll just keep our eye on it. The most important thing for us is to win races, and that's what we want to do."