There were mixed emotions at McLaren following practice for the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai.
Jenson Button was sixth quickest in the second session and believes the team has made improvements to the MP4-29.
"In terms of driveability, I think we’ve improved the car in a number of areas since Bahrain," he said. "There are a few more things we can do overnight, and there are some positive steps we can take to move a little closer to the front. After all, two weeks ago, in Bahrain, we also struggled during our long runs in FP2, so perhaps we’ll be better in the race here."
"Today, both my front tyres were graining – but then this place is very tough on front tyres, especially when you’re in traffic. There are a few things we can do with the set-up to ease the graining – and there are also a few things we want to do that will improve the car’s overall balance – so hopefully we’ll get a clearer picture tomorrow of where we stand – if it stays dry."
Team-mate Kevin Magnussen was less optimistic after setting the 12th fastest time.
"I don’t know why we’re not as competitive as we’ve been in the previous races, but we have a lot of front tyre degradation – and we need to investigate why," he said.
"In fact, I’ve never had this much front tyre graining – it’s very difficult to deal with, so we’ll adjust the set-up and my driving style to compensate. It’s a new track for me, too, so I need to adapt to that."