Eric Boullier says McLaren is at the start of an "upward curve" and is confident the team can make further steps in the next few races.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button both managed to finish in the points last time out in Russia, after coming home seventh and tenth respectively for the Woking squad. Boullier concedes that the result in Sochi was perhaps fortunate, but he remains positive that the developments planned for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend - and the following races - will help them progress.

"Our double points finish in Sochi was certainly a motivating factor for the whole team back in Woking, Sakura and Milton Keynes, but it's only just the start of an upward curve that we hope to continue riding for the rest of the season," said Boullier, McLaren's racing director.

"In Russia, there's no doubt we gained from others' misfortune in some ways, but both our drivers report positively about the balance of the car, which reassures us that we've created a solid foundation, and that we can have faith in the direction in which we're going," he added.

"We're always impatient for more, but I'm pleased that the hard work consistently being undertaken behind the scenes was finally rewarded with some valuable points, and we head into the European season hopeful of scoring some more positive results at circuits on which our car should theoretically be slightly stronger.

"That, coupled with an unrelenting development programme, is exciting and gives us optimism for the next few races ahead.

"It certainly won't be easy - while we'll be evaluating upgrades to the car in Barcelona, so will many other teams - but the loyal Spanish fans will be behind Fernando and the team, and we hope to put on a good show for them and carry some positive momentum into the European season."