Fernando Alonso remains adamant that McLaren's radical MP4-30 can allow the team to fight its rivals at the very front of the Formula 1 field.
The two-time champion has yet to score points since returning to the Woking-based outfit at the start of the season as the team's renewed partnership with Honda continues to bed in, Alonso's best result so far of the campaign an 11th place in Bahrain.
Nonetheless, the Spaniard insists that the latent potential of the MP4-30, which sports a new darker livery for this weekend's race in Barcelona, will allow McLaren to return to the summit of the sport sooner than some observers are predicting.
"I think the car has the potential to perform at the top level, if we had everything together," said Alonso during Thursday's driver press conference.
"We have a very complex package with the power unit and the philosophy of the car, and new arrivals like Peter Prodromou have changed the philosophy of the car.
"Right now we are putting all the pieces together to have a good package in the future, even if we have to sacrifice some months now.
"I really think that we have the potential to fight with the top teams in the future."
Result in Spain not critical
Alonso also reckons that this weekend's result is of secondary importance compared to whether the team's updates work as hoped around the Spanish venue.
"I think this weekend is important," continued the 33-year-old, "not so much for the result, for the points or qualifying position, but more for an update on the performance that has to be consistent and deliver what we expect from the car.
"So far everything we have brought to the car has delivered as expected, so coming to this weekend our hopes is everything we bring here keeps coming to the car in the healthy way."