McLaren-Mercedes CEO Martin Whitmarsh has said that the Woking-based outfit is feeling 'confident' about their prospects going into next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

McLaren have put together a bit of a run of late and following Lewis Hamilton two victories in Britain and Germany, the Englishman now leads the race for the 2008 drivers' title again - 4 points up on Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

The situation in the constructors' though isn't so good, and Ron Dennis' men still trail both the Scuderia and BMW Sauber - 3 points adrift of the latter and a massive 19 points off the former.

"We won in Hungary last season and travel to Budapest confident that we have strengthened the weaknesses of our package," said Whitmarsh in the countdown to the eleventh round in this year's F1 World Championship.

"The two circuits on the calendar that most resemble the characteristics of the Hungaroring are, bizarrely, Montreal, which is dusty and low-grip, and Monte Carlo, which requires a high-downforce set-up to cope with the minimal straights and numerous low-speed corners. And the reality is that we were reasonably competitive at both those circuits.

"While it has been true to say that one of the key strengths of our car is its pace in high-speed corners, we've done a lot of work to the package to strengthen its weak spots. At Silverstone, we were comfortable with our pace through the last sector, and at Hockenheim, we were comfortably quickest through the stadium section of the track, which is tight and reliant on good mechanical grip. Nonetheless, we are fully prepared for a battle with our rivals, whom we can never under-estimate."

Asked how things are looking for beyond Hungary and what developments are planned during the summer - when teams won't be able to test due to the summer ban, Whitmarsh added that there are still a lot of promising tweaks to come.

Furthermore the squad was pleased with the recent four-day Jerez test, which finished with Heikki Kovalainen setting the pace and posting the quickest time of the week.

"The whole team has been incredibly busy and productive this year," he explained. "Throughout the summer, we've been working hard to evaluate several substantial developments at each test and were able to sample major new aerodynamic steps at both the Silverstone and Hockenheim tests.

"This week's Jerez test was no different: as well as evaluating the latest iteration of Bridgestone slick, we also tried out antler wings on the nosecone to improve the front-end flow as well as a number of more detailed aero solutions.

"Over the three-week break, we have also scheduled two 50 kilometre shakedowns and we will be working hard back at Woking and Brixworth to enable us to keep the development programme on schedule before we resume the season in Valencia [on August 24]."

Mercedes-Benz vice president Norbert Haug meanwhile has warned that there are no guarantees they will win for the third race in succession - although that is no doubt the target.

"Hungary will present a different picture. We have no reason to expect a walk in the park," he added. "The characteristics of the circuit just outside Budapest are quite different to those at the previous grand's prix in Silverstone and at the Hockenheimring.

"Overtaking on the Hungaroring is almost impossible, apart from into turn one, and so a good grid position is even more crucial than on most other circuits.

"To be fast through the many corners, which make up the largest part of the circuit, a lot of downforce will be key. At the Hungaroring, this is more important than good top speed. The high ambient temperatures at this race are among the highest which often put a lot of strain on car, engine cooling, tyres and of course the drivers.

"The requirements are similar to those in Monaco: we need efficient cooling and a lot of downforce, but we also have to cope with high tyre wear. The weight of the car, and thus the fuel load, have a bigger influence on the lap times than in the previous races. In Hungary, we have clinched four victories out of the last 10 races; Lewis was our most recent winner last year."