Lewis Hamilton says he is remaining confident about his championship chances despite running in seventh position after six races.
The McLaren driver is 19 points behind championship leader Mark Webber, having scored only two podiums finishes in the first six events. But Hamilton says he has been satisfied with his performances so far, and is adamant that it's still early enough in the season that he will have plenty of chances to move up the ranks.
"I think you can look at it two ways, you could say that we had some good opportunities in some of the early races and that we maybe didn't make the best of those chances," Hamilton said on his website. "You could also say we've done a good job overall, got a great deal of performance out of the car and possibly exceeded the expectation of what the car was ultimately capable of.
"I think the reality lies somewhere between those two areas: Maybe I should have scored more points, but I know that I've raced to the best of my ability on every single lap of every single race, and that I got the maximum out of the car, so I'm satisfied with my performance, even if I've been a bit unlucky.
"It would be nice to have more points, yes, but I don't think it's something we should be too concerned about right now - there are plenty more races, and we have lots of opportunities to close the gap. It's more important that we plan to break the stranglehold at the front than look back at what might have been. And that's exactly what this team has always done, and what we're doing now. We're confident that we know what needs to be done to get back to the front."
The 2008 World Champion is also confident that McLaren will take a step forward soon and will be closer to the leading Red Bull team.
"We've got some developments in the pipeline – they won't be immediate, but we think we know what we need to do to close the gap to the leaders," he added. "In any case, we're a lot more confident about what our pace will be like at tracks like Istanbul, Canada and Silverstone – we think our package will be a lot more competitive at those places, particularly in race pace, which has always been our strength.
"The important thing is to stay focused – one of the greatest strengths of the team is our ability to keep developing and refining our car during the season, and I'm confident that we're heading in the right direction."