Jenson Button already has his sights set on coming back with a bang at next month’s British Grand Prix.
Despite booking what eventually turned out to be a third-placed finish at the season-opening race in Australia following Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification, the year has been an uphill struggle for Button and McLaren.
The team endured a wretched run of three consecutive races without a point in China, Bahrain and Spain before finally ending their drought last time out in Monaco.
As Button concedes, there was “a sense of relief” in removing that particular monkey from their back.
But the veteran knows in finishing sixth, with team-mate Kevin Magnussen 10th, it was just a small step on the road to competitiveness.
Button would like to believe there will be further improvement this weekend in Canada – the scene of one of his most spectacular triumphs in 2011 – before moving on to Austria’s return to the calendar, and then more importantly Silverstone.
“The points we scored in Monaco were okay, however the most important thing for us as a team was not how many points we picked up there but the progress,” said Button.
“I feel there is progress being made in the team.
“The way the car feels is good, and we are going in the right direction.
“It’s still going to take time.
“We’re not going to set the world alight in Canada this weekend but hopefully there will be a bit more progression. Then we’ve Austria, then Silverstone where it would be nice to have a good package. I think we’ll have some good parts for there.”
With Button out of contract at the end of the season, racing director Eric Boullier has hinted another could be in the pipeline given the 34-year-old’s crucial insight in the team’s time of need.
Boullier said: “Despite our current lack of pace, Jenson continues to be an absolutely fantastic ambassador for the team.
“Not only is he a fantastic driver but he’s also somebody with the feel and experience to steer the team and give it direction for development.
“His input has been invaluable, and he remains a tireless contributor.”
Whilst the result in Monaco was a welcome one for Boullier, the Frenchman is fully aware it was also far below what is expected of McLaren.
“Of course it wasn’t nice when we were not scoring any points,” said Boullier.
“But we need to get back to where we should be, which is the most important thing.
“Monaco is a special race, and it was good to be in the points there but the target is to be in the points every race, and then the big points every race.”
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff concedes he is under pressure to prevent the feud between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg from boiling over.
Discussions have taken place between the pair, with more planned prior to this weekend’s race.