McLaren admits that its Spanish Grand Prix update package "has to deliver" after Jenson Button had to use an alternative strategy to finish fifth in China last weekend.
Despite having made progress from its troubled start to the campaign, the team is resigned to waiting until its revamped car arrives to see if it can rescue its title hopes. Although Jenson Button led the race in China thanks to his two-stop strategy, team principal Martin Whitmarsh knows that doing that is not good enough.
"I would like to be leading it when the checkered flag comes out," he said, after seeing Button eventually come home in fifth place. "I am not delighted. I cannot be delighted. To be honest, I am disappointed about it.
"An enormous amount of work went into some modifications which were a bit on the fly, a bit of a try here, and I think we made a bit of progress but not as much as I would like. So overall I am a bit disappointed but we now have to make sure that the big package coming for Spain delivers."
When asked if it was essential McLaren's Spanish GP updates produced a big step forward if the team was to remain in the title hunt, Whitmarsh said: "It has to deliver something."
Button himself says there are tangible signs that McLaren is making progress, as he felt it vital the team did not let its motivation slip.
"We are still a long way behind the lead guys but there is progress, from the first race to now," he said. "The first race was 1.5 seconds [off pole position], the last race was nine tenths and here we were seven tenths in Q2, so it is definitely improving.
"We were two tenths off a Red Bull in Q2, so there is definitely progress. It is tough being where we are, but we need to be positive that we are moving forward."