McLaren is working “flat out” on its 2020 Formula 1 car and plans to revise its design philosophy in a bid to close the gap to the top three teams.

The Woking squad has made impressive gains this season and is currently on course to land its best result of the V6 hybrid era, holding fourth spot in the constructors’ championship over nearest challengers and engine suppliers Renault.

McLaren is continuing to bring small updates to its MCL34 car as it looks to seal the ‘best of the rest tag’ in 2019, though team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed the team’s attentions have already switched to next year.

“We still bring some small bits to the next races also, but make sure that the team is flat out on 2020 car,” Seidl during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

Asked if the team is testing any bits to carry over onto next year’s car, Seidl replied: “At the moment we don’t see anything in terms of carryover parts - it wouldn’t make sense.

“We still have stuff that we bring for this year’s car. I mean the regulations are pretty much the same, there are stuff you can carryover then to next year but it’s not like we develop our stuff for next year’s car and then bring it.

“I wouldn’t call it radical but of course with the gap we’re having to the top cars, under the same regulations, we try to make a big, or a decent, step which means that some of the concept stuff of the car we will change.”

A brilliant fifth place finish for Carlos Sainz Jr in Japan helped McLaren extend its lead over Renault to 34 points with four racers and 104 points left available.

“I’m happy we were able to extend the lead again to our competitors and I think we’ve seen now there is a kind of a trend in the last three or four races, we clearly have the fourth strongest car,” Seidl explained.

“I think we have everything in our hands now to secure this P4 at the end of the season which will be a great achievement for us as a team and at the same time it’s important now to stay flat out for next year’s car to make the next step.”