Fernando Alonso says he is encouraged by the improvements made by McLaren though concedes he is braced for a tough Austrian Grand Prix due to a series of penalties.
Alonso qualified in 15th position but was handed a 25 place drop due to McLaren changing several engine parts in his car, as well as his gearbox.
As a result, Alonso cannot serve his full sanction and must serve a drive through penalty in the first three laps of the race.
"The car felt good today – the new aero package means it feels more competitive in the corners," he said.
"It’s just a bit unfortunate that this is a high power-effect circuit, so we can’t maximise everything. Still, we’re moving in the right direction, which is very positive.
"We’ve had a lot of problems throughout free practice, so we definitely need to improve reliability, and we’ll have some extra penalties when the race starts.
"It's really a learning weekend for us – we’re running the cars in different configurations – but hopefully that will increase our learning.
"It’s going to be a difficult Grand Prix – a little bit painful – but hopefully we’ll get a lot of answers in the race tomorrow, and then use that data in the test next week."