Andrea Stella has detailed how McLaren will stay humble and not let expectations get ahead of them heading in 2024 following a strong '23.
Sizeable upgrade packages in Austria and Singapore transformed the MCL60 from also-ran to the second-fastest car behind Red Bull's RB19, with Oscar Piastri scooping victory in the Qatar Sprint race.
McLaren took fourth in the standings, but could not catch Mercedes or Ferrari for second owing to its slow start with just 17 points on the board after Round 8 of 22 in Canada.
It rallied to 302 - its best showing since 2012 - with Stella, in his first season as Team Principal earning plaudits in the paddock for his simple, straight-forward approach, including when discussing complex technical matters.
Having created a solid base with the 2023 car, McLaren will be expected to be one of the teams challenging Red Bull in 2024, with expectations rising as a result, but Stella insists the team will stay data-focused and driven.
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"Ultimately, the metrics you use to position yourself internally, and even externally, in Formula 1 is quite quantitative," Stella explained to media including RacingNews365.
"You like to see what kind of progress you are making in the wind-tunnel, in the computer simulations, and you know that a certain rate will mean you are two-tenths, half-a-second, seven-tenths better at the start of a season.
"Realistically, we know that if we want to retain our competitiveness going into next season, you need to have half-a-second in hand, otherwise, you are moving backwards.
"It's because you would have become steady and everyone is catching up, so we will look at the data, and then based on that, we will position the entire team internally and externally.
"Our philosophy is to be very fair to what we know. We don't have to create false expectations because the reality will come to you in a violent way, and we don't want to find ourselves in that position.
"At the same time, we don't want to downplay too much and then find out we weren't ready to fight at the front, and we didn't make good decisions based on that.
"We will just stick to the data, be realistic and be honest. That is our philosophy."