McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl says the outfit can be buoyed by the level of performance it displayed across the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
McLaren had been braced for a relative struggle owing to the lack of straights and abundance of slow-speed corners around the streets of Monaco.
But Lando Norris was able to qualify fifth and went on to race to third, profiting from the demise of erstwhile polesitter Charles Leclerc and second-placed driver Valtteri Bottas.
It marked Norris and McLaren’s second podium of the campaign, having previously finished third at Imola.
“I would say we definitely didn’t expect that in terms of pace, we could be so close to Mercedes and Red Bull and also Ferrari,” said Seidl.
“What we have seen at the beginning of the season, in the first few races, we were always struggling in the low-speed sections so that was really encouraging to see this weekend.
“The team did a great job over the winter with this car and they kept pushing, delivering the upgrades so I’m very happy with that.”
Ferrari closed to within two points of McLaren in the battle for third place in the Constructors’ Championship after Carlos Sainz finished the race as runner-up.
But Seidl believes McLaren can be satisfied at minimising the potential damage given polesitter Leclerc was unable to start.
“Obviously for the championship, how the race played out was a good outcome for us, seeing the strong pace Ferrari had on Thursday and also on Saturday,” he said.
“It was high risk to lose a lot of points to them and obviously we benefitted from the bad luck that Charles had, that’s something you don’t wish on any of your competitors but we always said, it’s important to be there if any opportunities come your way.
“We managed to do that as a race team together with a flying Lando.”