Jenson Button has played down McLaren's chance of competing for top honours at this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.
Button claimed a top three finish in Australia before coming home in sixth in Malaysia.
But the Brit, who will start his 250th Formula 1 race on Sunday, is playing down expectations.
"We're not going to win the grand prix and we have a very slim chance of a podium," he told Sky Sports News.
However, he reckons that the climate in Bahrain will aid McLaren compared to Malaysia.
"Less high speed and less temperatures here will help us a lot.
"We have good straight line speed and we have a few new bits on the car which should help us. But the important thing is to get back on reasonable pace and fight with the Ferraris and Force India because they beat us by 36 seconds in Sepang."
Button believes McLaren has taken the right path regarding the development of the MP4-29 but admits that the team did not anticipate Mercedes being so far ahead.
"It was a car that was designed to have a good balance initially. We knew that the car was lacking in downforce. That was always the direction we wanted to take, a car we could really build on, last year's car was the opposite. So, yes, I think we have done the right thing - we just didn't expect Mercedes to be so much further in front."