McLaren might have lost ground to Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship following the Hungarian Grand Prix but team principal Andreas Seidl is not discouraged, though also acknowledges that the team have to be at their best to face the challenge.
The Woking-based outfit had the advantage throughout much of the first half of the season, with Lando Norris scoring points in every race up until the Hungarian Grand Prix, which saw the British driver forced to retire after being hit by Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap. Daniel Ricciardo also suffered damage in the Turn 1 melee and finished the race outside of the points.
Meanwhile Ferrari's Carlos Sainz ended the Grand Prix in a strong fourth, before later being promoted to third after Sebastian Vettel in second was disqualified. This has seemingly given the Scuderia the upper hand in the constructors' battle for third place, but Seidl remains confident that McLaren can continue to fight.
"I think it's an open battle, as we have seen throughout the first half of the season," Seidl told media including RacingNews365.com.
"[Hungary] didn't go to plan, but there was nothing that we can control. But for us it was encouraging to see [on Saturday] that we could actually battle Ferrari on a track like this, because that's something we didn't expect when coming here.
"Look at the first races this season on similar tracks where we couldn't go [at] their pace. That speaks also for the good work everyone has done back home on the development side, continously improving the car, and that's encouraging for the second half of the season."
Given the recent strong performances displayed by Sainz and Charles Leclerc - who, whilst eliminated from the Hungarian Grand Prix after being hit by Lance Stroll, put in an impressive showing at Silverstone to finish in second - Seidl recognises that McLaren have to perform at their strongest level to match their rivals.
"It is also clear Ferrari is obviously a very strong team, very experienced," Seidl explained. "They have everything in place they need to have also a second strong half of the season.
"They have two top drivers, and that's why we need to be on our A game in all aspects of going racing. We want to compete with that.
"But again, with what we have seen [over the years] with the team, it's encouraging and I think we have everything in our hands to battle it out until the last race."
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