Two time World Champion Fernando Alonso claims his McLaren car will be the most improved car in 2018 whilst suggesting that his Q3 target at every Grand Prix is a possibility.
Alonso also confirmed that the problems McLaren encountered during pre-season have been ironed out giving them a chance to fight for 4th in the constructor's championship.
Fernando said: “It should be a good season for us, getting back to the positions that we enjoy a bit more. Hopefully 100% in Q3, regularly in the points, fighting in the top five, hopefully, close to the podium in some of the races.
“We saw last year one Williams took a podium in Baku, the Force India were very close to a couple of podium positions in the year. So we know that opportunities will come and in those opportunities, we will deliver hopefully.
Two drivers in 2017, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, managed to perform the feat of 100% in Q3.
Alonso also expects plenty of upgrades throughout the season suggesting that they are going to push on from a strong start.
“This will be our lowest level. I think during the season we will improve a lot.
“We should be the team that will progress more relative to the other teams just because the integration to a new power unit will require time.
“The chassis has been designed and the season programmes with many updates that will come very soon, in the first couple of races.
“What we see here is going to be important, yes, but I think (we) will (become) better and better. I expect in the second part of the season a very strong McLaren.”
McLaren suggested towards the end of last season that they have the best chassis in the paddock and with a new engine, they think they’ll be much more competitive.
“Some of the races last year we were competitive. I started P6, Abu Dhabi or one of the last two or three races, so the potential was there last year.
“But then in the race, we had other difficulties, other problems, and we never had the opportunity to fight wheel-to-wheel. That will be a big difference this year and definitely much more fun.”
“We are not at the level of Mercedes now, or at the level of Red Bull and Ferrari.
“What we think after winter testing we are not in that leading group yet but we should be there in a couple of races’ time or in the second part of the championship or something because we are McLaren, so we should be there.
“As I said in 2012 we were not in that group ever and we were leading the championship in the last race. So let’s see what happens this year.”
Former F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has also claimed that McLaren will be much better in 2018.
Rosberg said: “McLaren such an epic team, I really hope they can challenge for at least some podiums.”