Oscar Piastri feels McLaren is steadily becoming "more comfortable" with its competitive position in the Formula 1 grid.
The Woking squad started the current campaign on the back foot, but has successfully developed its car throughout the season, with big packages coming in Austria and Singapore, propelling it from also-ran to the second-fastest team behind Red Bull.
Piastri and Lando Norris have scored nine podiums in the last 11 races and are now on course to end the season fourth in the Constructors' Championship, with further progress inhibited by its slow start to the season.
Despite a brief revival in mid-2021, McLaren has largely been a midfield runner since Zak Brown assumed control as CEO in 2018, with the team struggling, although progress is finally being made, with Piastri describing how the team is adjusting to life as a front-runner once again.
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Piastri hails McLaren correlation
"I always had belief in the team that if we had a car capable of fighting at the front wouldn't be ready to do it," Piastri told media including RacingNews365.
"I think we've been able to show that in the second half of the year. The development and progress from the car side of things in particular has been incredible.
"Now we're slowly getting more and more comfortable with being at the front.
"Instead of referring to some of the other teams as the top teams, they are our competitors now."
Piastri highlighted that a key factor to McLaren's resurgence has been its correlation between its factory data and the car on the track.
"It's been one hell of a turnaround, definitely," he stated.
"The first upgrade we put on really gave us an extra step in performance and everything else since has done the same.
"The most encouraging thing has been that everything we've wanted to put on the car and everything we're going to change with the car has done what it's supposed to.
"All the numbers that we expected were basically the same in real life, which you can't always take for granted. I think it's been remarkable."