Kevin Magnussen qualified sixth in Austria today and afterwards said he believes McLaren is making progress.

The Dane's best lap in Q3 was a 1 minute 09.515 seconds, which left him just 0.049 seconds off Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull in P5.

Speaking after the session, Magnussen added that if he hadn't made a mistake near the end he could definitely have beaten the Aussie.

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"It was good to see a little bit of progress and see that we can fight for top-five," Magnussen reflected. "If everything had been perfect today, I think we could have had P5. I missed a little bit in the last corner - a tiny mistake, nothing big. But we can always say if we would have done this or that.

"We have got to be happy with the progress that we are making and keep it up. We need to keep improving like we are and I think it will be good in a while."

"It [our performance today] is a positive improvement and a step forward. We should be happy. The team has done a good job to deliver some positive upgrades. The team has a very good energy. Hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow.

"I think we can be satisfied," he added.

Quizzed on what will be possible in the race, he replied: "Not much more than today I think. I don't know if our race pace is as strong as our qualifying pace. But at least we can work with what we have done today and with the progress we have made on the car."

"We will do our best tomorrow."

Eric Boullier, McLaren's Racing director, meanwhile also reckons the squad is moving forward, even if Jenson Button did fail to progress to Q3 in the sister car. He will start 11th - handicapped somewhat after missing most of FP3 due to a small brake fire.

"Okay, we don't regard P6, or even P5, as good enough - McLaren exists to win and anything short of that will never truly satisfy us - but we're encouraged by our performance today because it indicates that we're on the right development path," Boullier commented.

"Rome wasn't built in a day - Woking may take longer - but we're getting there."