McLaren admit that they are "not entirely happy" with their launch-spec 2023 car.
The team slipped from fourth to fifth in the 2022 Constructors' Championship after losing out to Alpine, with Lando Norris having voiced his hopes that the squad can retake the position in the year ahead.
However, Team Principal Andrea Stella acknowledged at the launch of the MCL60 that – despite having taken steps forward over the winter – the outfit are hoping that early-season developments will help them to progress further.
Stella: McLaren 'not entirely happy' with launch car
"Assessing our performance last year and looking at competitors, we identified multiple areas of opportunities," Stella told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"The good news is that pretty much all of them have been addressed.
"I wouldn't want to be too specific, but certainly they have to do predominantly with aerodynamics. Aerodynamics is the name of the game in Formula 1 so it's no mystery.
"But there's some more areas, for instance in terms of interaction with the tyres. There's some work that we needed to do and this was done over the winter.
"There's some other areas of the car that will be improved by developments in the early stages of the season.
"So, we are happy. Not entirely happy for the launch car, but optimistic that we should take a good step soon."
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McLaren target development gains
In regards to when those developments may arrive for the team, Stella is hopeful that this may potentially happen by the time of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 30 April.
"In terms of development, [it will] hopefully [be a] couple of months into the season, hopefully less," Stella explained.
"So this may coincide with race four, we will see."
Pre-season testing kicks off in Bahrain from 23-25 February, while the first race of the year will take place at the same venue on 3-5 March.
Ahead of the 2023 F1 season, RacingNews365.com journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth look back on a winter break laden with intrigue and controversy.