Team boss Martin Whitmarsh admits that McLaren will be looking to score 'solid points' in Bahrain this weekend in what could prove to be another case of damage limitation for the former champions.

McLaren has endured a tough start to the 2013 campaign with the new MP4-28, with Jenson Button's fifth place finish in China at the weekend being the best result to date for the team this season.

With Bahrain coming just a week after the Shanghai race, the team hasn't been able to make any radical changes to the car for the fourth event of the year at the Sakhir Circuit, with the aim being to score as many points as possible before the team is able to try and make a push forwards in performance on the return to Europe.

"Bahrain marks the end of the opening fly-away leg of the 2013 world championship," Whitmarsh said. "That being the case, following on in quick succession from last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, we'll look to consolidate our achievements in Shanghai with further solid points finishes this weekend.

"While the first three races haven't been the easiest for us, there's been a little progress at every round, and we'll be looking for another improved showing, as well as the opportunity to increase our understanding of MP4-28, in Bahrain this weekend."

Whitmarsh also took time to praise the work ongoing back at McLaren's Woking-base to try and improve performance of the car.

"The work that goes on at the track is only the tip of the iceberg," he said. "There's been an incredible amount of effort expended back at the McLaren Technology Centre [Woking, UK], so as to ensure that the delivery of new parts, and the evaluation of fresh ideas, remain constant.

"I therefore want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's contributed to that work. Your efforts never go unnoticed, and the development trend is in the right direction."