Eric Boullier wants McLaren to show that it is catching Mercedes as the season progresses even if he doesn't expect to be able to bridge the gap.
McLaren will switch from Mercedes to Honda power units in 2015, but so far this year has been unable to challenge the Mercedes team despite sharing the same engine. Boullier said there would be no switch of focus as much of 2014 is relevant to the next car but he wants McLaren to start closing the gap between now and the end of the season in order to have a better chance next year.
“We are still working on this car and we will still be working on this car for a while because there is a lot you can carry over to next year,” Boullier said. “It's true that this is obviously not the best season so far. I think it's going to be very hard to catch up at the front but what we want to try at least is to make sure that we are on the path to catching up.
“So we will do our best obviously to keep working and developing this car as long as we can ... I think it's mainly downforce we are lacking.”
And Kevin Magnussen said he has been encouraged by the way the car is improving, even if relative performance has not changed significantly.
“It's slowly getting better all the time and that's why I'm really positive about it,” Magnussen said. “It's progress every time. It's not going to happen over one weekend and any progress is positive. I think [in Austria] the car is a bit better and if we can keep that up then that's good.”