Jenson Button is confident McLaren can now challenge Red Bull on all high-speed circuits, having outpaced the team at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Button scored his third win of the season at Suzuka as he outperformed World Champion Sebastian Vettel, despite the German starting from pole position. Vettel had to settle for third position behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso after struggling with the degradation of his softer tires.
Button believes McLaren has raised its game on high-speed tracks where Red Bull has been strongest is the past few years.
"I think our overall pace, forgetting the strategy and looking after the tires, has been pretty good on high-speed circuits," said Button on Thursday in Korea. "I think our car works well on high-speed circuits and it's good to see that because that was a weakness of ours if you compare us with Red Bull. At high-speed corners we were always looking at them and going, 'How the hell are they doing that?' Then we went to Spa and we were very competitive. And it's the same thing in Suzuka.
"Our car worked very well, and in the first sector of the lap we were actually quicker than the Red Bulls for the first time in three years. So I think our car is generally competitive in high-speed circuits."
Button, who has outshone teammate Lewis Hamilton in recent races, downplayed the benefit this year's tires have had in his strong season, despite the general belief that his smoother driving skill is helping him.
"I think if we were on last year's tires this year I'd be pretty happy anyway, because you still have a lot of tire work on high-speed circuits," he said. "I don't know, maybe it does suit my style more. It's difficult to know. But at some circuits I've really struggled with tire wear, so it's not always gone my way."
The McLaren driver also reckons the Korean Grand Prix will be very hard on tires, and he thinks drivers could be forced to stop up to five times in the race.
"It's going to be tough. The softs are pretty tough tires to do a long run with anyway, so with the super-soft it's going to be interesting. You could see a lot of stops here. We can only have five stops, we can't have any more, but I think we might be using all of them.
"Qualifying is going to be interesting, as you don't want to flat-spot a tire, because you are going to need them all maybe. And then we have India, which is a fast circuit like Suzuka and at the moment is 95 degrees, so it's going to be like Suzuka but even hotter, so even tougher on tires.
"So we have a tough couple of races coming up. It's not just about sheer speed, it's whether you can look after the tires or not."