Oscar Piastri has revealed when McLaren believed it could catch Aston Martin for fourth place in the Constructors' Championship.
McLaren commenced the season in poor fashion after admitting it had missed development targets with the MCL60, originally bringing floor updates to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Significant packages were brought to the car in Austria and Singapore, transforming the team from also-rans to second-fastest behind Max Verstappen and Red Bull, with the team scoring seven podiums in the last six races as Piastri banked victory in the Qatar Sprint.
After Lando Norris finished second in the United States, McLaren overtook Aston Martin for fourth, having out-developed the Silverstone team after its early season progress stalled, with Piastri conceding the team had no hope of catching Aston after its poor start to the year.
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'Never a target to beat Aston Martin'
"Until Austria, no, definitely not," he told media including RacingNews365 when asked if he thought it was possible to beat Aston Martin.
"Even the rate that that we managed to catch them, I don't think it was really ever a target necessarily to beat them.
"It was just to try and improve and whatever results we got is what we got. The [development] race has been what it's been - it's been enough to overtake Aston.
"Of course at this point of the year, we want to stay ahead of Aston and but very firmly, like the teams around us, we’ve got an eye on next year.
"Hopefully, we can come out strong, but definitely at the start of the year, we wouldn't expect to have the second half that we’ve had."