by Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  30 November -0001

McLaren ready for 'long and hard' title battle

McLaren are ready and prepared for a "long and hard" fought battle for the championship, says managing director Jonathan Neale.

Neale also added that they're not taking anything for granted after securing pole and the race win last time out in Hungary.

"The last race in Hungary was obviously very pleasing," he said in an interview. "It was the 150th pole position for the team which we should be very proud of.

"Lewis found good pace in the car and I think the updates we brought through Germany and Hungary have definitely restored a degree of competitiveness to us, but we can't take anything for granted.

"It was very pleasing to see Jenson in fourth place on the grid in qualifying as well. So we have reasons to believe that we are making progress, but it was a very tight race and I think it will be in the next few races as well. This season is going to run long and hard for everybody."

Neale admits McLaren were outdeveloped during the Easter period which led to some poor results, particularly at the European and British GP's where they scored just nine points.

However he believes recent upgrades have put the team back at the front, though with their rivals separated by just a tenth here and there, they can't drop their guard.

"I think we were probably out-developed round about the Easter time by some of our competitors and I think we have out-developed our competitors through June," Neale added. "What happens through July and August is still being played out, so we will see.

"With only a tenth or two separating the top ten cars in terms of seconds-per-lap, it is still very marginal. It's exciting for the fans and spectators with multiple drivers winning different races and different teams coming to the fore and disappearing again and we look forward to it. I think it's going to be a really exciting play out for the rest of the season."

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