Jenson Button feels McLaren-Honda's recent gains produced at its Woking base may not be fully reflected in results but is confident momentum is with his team after its double points finish last time out at Sochi.
Both Button and team-mate Fernando Alonso claimed their first points of the season in Russia, backing up reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne's 10th place finish on debut in Bahrain, to kick-start McLaren's campaign as it jumped above Force India and Renault in the F1 world constructors' championship.
The 2009 world champion has hailed the development work being completed behind-the-scenes at McLaren's headquarters and says there was a small pay-off in Russia with both cars finishing in the points for the first time since last year's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Despite his confidence ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix Button says the results may not demonstrate the developments made by the squad in recent weeks.
“The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is not a circuit that would traditionally suit us, since it's fairly hard on both the chassis and the power units,” Button said. “I feel I have a solid car underneath me, and we're putting in pretty consistent performances on a variety of circuits, even if our results don't necessarily reflect all the work that's going on back at base.
“It's exciting to start the European season off the back of a positive race for the whole team in Sochi. There's definitely a feeling in the camp that we're making progress, so I'm hopeful that we can continue this momentum in Barcelona.
“We have some more new parts to test on the car again for this race, so I hope we can see another positive step in our performance over the weekend.”
Despite Button's recent fortunes with the under-performing McLaren-Honda, the British driver has claimed victory before in Spain during his world championship-winning campaign with Brawn GP in 2009.
Last year the Woking-based squad endured one of its worst race weekends of the season with Button finishing a lowly 16th while Alonso retired after 26 laps with brake problems.