Martin Brundle has predicted that McLaren will continue to move forwards after the team looked to have made significant progress at the Australian Grand Prix.
The Woking-based squad endured a challenging start to the 2022 campaign, and struggled near the back of the field at the season-opening event in Bahrain.
There was a slight improvement in Saudi Arabia, with Lando Norris scoring six points, but Daniel Ricciardo's race ended in a DNF due to a mechanical failure.
In Melbourne, though, the picture looked much different. Norris and Ricciardo lined up on the grid in P4 and P7 respectively, and secured a double points result by ending the Grand Prix in fifth and sixth.
Brundle: McLaren have a "solid and reliable" car
With some of the team's previous issues seemingly behind them, Brundle believes that McLaren can make further headway from this point.
"McLaren are clearly beginning to return their car to a sensible aero base after the hurriedly butchered brake cooling changes in Bahrain," Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports F1.
"I would expect them to edge forward from there.
"Norris and home boy Ricciardo were equally matched in a solid and reliable car."
Viewed by others:
Success on home turf for Ricciardo
This step forward coincided with Ricciardo competing in his first home Grand Prix since the last time F1 visited Australia in 2019, with the 2020 and 2021 events being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As such, the fans were out in force to show their support.
"Much of the vast Australian crowd had ditched their Red Bull merchandise for McLaren papaya caps in honour of 'their' man Ricciardo," said Brundle.
"I wonder how the grandstands in Imola at the next race will look."
McLaren's success in Melbourne has increased their total points tally to 24 points, putting them fourth in the Constructors' Championship.
Norris currently sits P8 in the Drivers' standings, whilst Ricciardo holds P11.
F1 Podcast: Can fast but fragile Red Bull respond to Leclerc's charge?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Australian Grand Prix, where Ferrari's Charles Leclerc triumphed and Red Bull's Max Verstappen retired.