McLaren chairman Ron Dennis believes the MP4-30’s chassis is “a match for most cars on the grid”, and just behind that of the dominant Mercedes.
The Briton therefore suggests the Honda engine is purely to blame for their poor results, despite third driver Stoffel Vandoorne telling Grand Prix Times “the whole package must improve” to be competitive.
Dennis, speaking to Sky Sports, said it was obvious to most, including drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, that the McLaren is a quick car through the corners but lacks the top speed required for the straights.
“It would be very, very easy for both of them [Alonso and Button] to be critical of McLaren – and they are not,” he said.
“They are driving the car and they know that the car is extremely quick in corners.
“It is not quite the match of the Mercedes at the moment but it is in many of the corners and it is certainly a match for most of the cars on the grid.
“Everyone in Formula 1 knows that. Everyone can look at data and establish where we are quick and where we are slow.”
Dennis is hopeful of a better end to the season as long as Honda can deliver in its promises.
“I believe step-by-step we will get there, we want to believe everything we are told by our partners, Honda, and if they deliver their promises then there is no question that we will be far more competitive in the next few races.”