McLaren has affirmed it won’t relax until it has consolidated fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings as it prepares for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, the first of the remaining seven races of the season.

The Woking-based outfit leapfrogged Force India to hold a two-point advantage in their ongoing battle for fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings last time out at the Belgian Grand Prix. Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button had originally crossed the finish line in sixth and seventh places respectively, but the former was issued with a 20-second post-race time penalty for forcing Fernando Alonso off-track late in the race, dropping him to twelfth.

The team looks unlikely to catch either Williams or Ferrari – which sit 45 and 55 points further ahead, respectively – but the silver cars will still aim to see out their final race in Europe under Mercedes power with a decent haul of points.

“Our aim for the remainder of the season is both to consolidate our position in the Constructors’ Championship by bringing both cars home in the points at each and every race, and also to continue to push hard to improve and refine the MP4-29,” McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier commented in the team’s preview of this weekend’s race at Monza.

“There will be no easing off on the gas in terms of development, as everything we learn this year will roll into next year’s technical package.”

The team is yet to revisit the rostrum since its double-podium finish at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, however the Frenchman was confident of more top-three results before it switched to Honda power in 2015.

“I feel that the spirit within the team is strong,” added Boullier, who joined the team in January. “We’re continuing to push forwards, and I’m optimistic that we’ll see an improvement to our fortunes before the end of the year.

“Arriving in Italy at the end of the European summer always feels like a turning-point in the season [too] – it’s the race at which we tend to start look towards the end of the year, and contemplate how the season will run out over the last remaining fly-aways.

“The last third of the season is always an incredibly tough challenge for the race team, both mentally and physically, so it’s important that we maintain our focus.”

Image via Sutton Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.