Pedro de la Rosa insists it is "too early" for anyone to write off McLaren ahead of the 2011 season.
It was actually the British team's own race drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button who had admitted the MP4-26 is not currently a title winner.
That earned the rebuke from boss Martin Whitmarsh on Thursday that the entire F1 world needs to "wait and see how the season unfolds".
De la Rosa, newly returned to his former post as McLaren's main test and reserve driver, agreed: "It is too early to draw conclusions.
"It does appear that a couple of teams seem to be stronger than the others, but until Australia you can't really say anything.
"There are two weeks to go and in this game that's a lot. Let's be cautious," he is quoted by Spanish media.
"Let's see what we have and how we can develop it."