McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella has highlighted that the squad's development cycle is more important than its starting point at the beginning of a season as it looks to return to being a consistent front-running outfit.
The Woking-based squad commenced this year's campaign competing towards the rear of the field with an MCL60 challenger that missed development targets.
However, it successfully upgraded the car throughout the year and managed to secure nine podiums.
McLaren ended the season fourth in the Constructors' Championship and is hopeful that it will start next year's campaign on a strong note as it carries over its end-of-year package to its 2024 challenger.
“In fairness, where you are with next year's car partly depends on where you are this year, because that's the starting point pretty much for everyone,” he told media including RacingNews365.
“But it depends on the gradient of development. This gradient [at McLaren] started in July, pretty much, and there is such a long period which is just about the work you do on next year’s car.
“So the starting point is important. But it's much more important, the gradient of development that you’re getting for six, seven months.
“It’s much more important the work that we are currently doing in terms of aerodynamic and mechanical development than the starting point.”
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McLaren substantial turnaround
McLaren made a major improvement at the Austrian Grand Prix earlier this year, which was the first considerable upgrade it introduced.
Stella highlighted that many elements were completely overhauled as it developed the car in order to boost itself up the pecking order.
“The car we launched in March, there are some elements that have been developed with continuity, but most of it has been developed in discontinuity,” he said.
“Especially when it came to the floor, bodywork, rear wing, and to some extent the front wing.
“We just needed to kind of go into different concepts and start to get them to work. It wasn't just a linear iterative development of the starting concept of the launch car.”