David Coulthard insisted McLaren were showing signs of improvement after finishing sixth at the Malaysian GP.
"We can take some satisfaction from the fact that we have improved our package since Melbourne, but we still have some way to go," said the Scot.
"I made a good start, gained a few places and had some exciting battles.
"Sixth isn't brilliant, but at least we have improved and I know everybody will continue to work hard until we're where we want to be - at the front."
Coulthard's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was forced out of the race by what the team said was a transmission problem on lap 40 while running fourth.
"It's never nice not to finish a race, not only for me but also for the team," said Raikkonen.
"However, while we need to be even more competitive, at least we have taken a step in the right direction.
"We were close to getting on the podium, but in my second pitstop we struggled to get the fuel nozzle to come off, so we lost important time to BAR and Jenson Button could take third.
"I'm now hoping that we can take another step in time for the next race in Bahrain."