McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale has said he feels the team is more than capable of fighting for the championship title during the upcoming season.
The Woking-based outfit was best of the rest behind Red Bull
last year, with Jenson Button
and Lewis Hamilton
the only drivers other than championship winner Sebastian Vettel
to win on more than one occasion.
So far, the MP4-27 has performed solidly during pre-season testing – in stark contrast to the MP4-26 last year – and Neale said he was confident that challenging Red Bull
was a realistic aim.
"There were only three drivers that won multiple races last year - two of which were ours," he told Sky Sports News
. "We came second in the Constructors' Championship, we won races, both drivers won races - and good ones. So not the year perhaps that we wanted - certainly not the way we started - but we fought hard as a team with everybody and I'm really pleased with the outcome of that.
"This year I think we start in better shape, certainly. It's there for the taking; if we work hard enough and pull together as a team we should be aiming to win this championship."
Neale again reiterated McLaren's stance that there will be no number two within the team during the season ahead, with Button and Hamilton given equal number one status.
"We have set our policy out to have two number one drivers so we are bringing packages for both of them," he said. "They set the car up quite differently but they've got access to the same thinking, the same engineers and of course we share the data with that counter that we have in the middle of our garage.
"So we try to be transparent and honest. They're pretty demanding of us though, if they're not happy they'll certainly let us know pretty quickly."