McLaren boss Zak Brown says the team is recovering from digging itself a "big hole" at the start of the 2023 with its latest upgrades at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Woking squad started the season on the back foot having missed initial targets with the MCL60 car and finding a new development route late in the winter.
Minor upgrades came in Azerbaijan to the floor, with a sizeable upgrade coming in Austria and Britain that propelled the team into contention for podiums and pole positions.
A second package has been brought for Lando Norris in Singapore, which Oscar Piastri will get in Japan, with Brown also believing it will be a challenge to hunt down fourth-placed Aston Martin in the Constructors', who is 102 points clear going into the Marina Bay weekend.
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"First impressions are good, but they are early impressions," Brown told media including RacingNews365.
"The track has still got to rubber in and we now need to look at the data but I think the first session was what we'd hoped for and we'll see how the weekend plays out."
The Singapore upgrades is the second time McLaren has brought a sizeable package to the MCL60 following the Austrian and British Grands Prix which transformed the car from midfield runner to podium contender.
Brown says the fact that the team was coming from such a low base with the first upgrade "compounded."
"We started from a pretty low point coming into Austria, so that was probably compounded in a positive way the size of the upgrade, but we are confident this will be a nice step forward.
"It's pretty tight where we are, so we just want to keep making incremental gains and trying to close the gap.
"It is going to be a tall order [to catch Aston Martin for fourth in the Constructors'], but we're certainly going to try.
"All we can do is the best that we can, and we dug ourselves a pretty big hole at the start of the season.
'Since Austria, we've been performing much better as a team and time will tell.
"We will need a couple of big results to close the gap, but we're going to give it all we've got."