Lando Norris has conceded McLaren will remain in its slump until new upgrades are added to the MCL60.
The Woking-based outfit has struggled for form in the early stages of the season, with Norris suggesting the team was the sixth or seventh quickest on the grid during the Monaco-Spain double-header.
Norris and rookie teammate Oscar Piastri impressed in qualifying to both reach Q3 at the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend, only to slide outside the top 10 during the race and leave with no points added to the team tally.
McLaren sits on just 17 points for the season, 27 points behind fifth-place Alpine and looking unlikely to mount a challenge on the French manufacturer anytime soon.
"There are little things we are still trying to improve - on the aerodynamics side, on the race pace side," Norris told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I think it was clear we do, as a trend, seem to struggle a bit more in the race compared to qualifying, so we have got some figuring out to try and do on that side.
"I am not expecting any easy races until we get some more bits on the car."
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'We know there are strengths'
"We know there are strengths. New tyres, low fuel, everything always feels better," added Norris.
"Especially in Barcelona, a new set of tyres to a used set of tyres was like eight-tenths, just eight-tenths of grip you get extra from the tyres so that kind of masks a lot of the issues we have.
"But even if you look at our second lap on a tyre pace, it was a lot worse than the first lap. So even after one lap, we struggle a lot more than we do on that very first lap.
"So a new tyre just makes everything better, simple as that. That's when things come together.
"I think we understand why and how it affects the car and what things get a lot better, it is just trying to get that feeling of what a new tyre does bring you into the actual balance and performance of the car itself, whether it's mechanically or aerodynamically.
"But that's the challenging part."