Zak Brown has issued the Aston Martin Formula 1 team a warning as the fight for fourth in the Constructors' Championship heats up.
After starting the current campaign on the back foot, McLaren has made seismic gains over the last handful of months.
At the Japanese Grand Prix, it scored its first double podium result of the campaign, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri taking second and third respectively.
A 49-point gap now exists between McLaren and Aston Martin for fourth in the standings, with the latter dropping back in the order after commencing the year strongly.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the Suzuka race, Brown has backed his squad to make a push to jump Aston Martin for fourth.
“I wish it was closer [than 49 points],” Brown said.
“But we're coming and I think it's going to be exciting. We just got to keep doing what we're doing and hopefully we'll be there at the end.”
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Piastri gap due to race management
Piastri scored the first podium of his F1 career at Suzuka, crossing the line behind teammate Norris.
The gap between the duo was over 17 seconds at the chequered flag, despite Piastri managing to out-qualify Norris.
Brown asserts that the deficit is due to Norris' experience in race management.
“These tyres are tricky to manage and so race management is something that you get that experience with experience.
“He's never been to this track before so we couldn't be happier with how Oscar's driving.
“When you do see that, it's not a one lap thing, it's a little bit of experience in managing the race but it's great to have two drivers on the podium.”