Team boss Franz Tost believes Toro Rosso will end the year ahead of McLaren as the two teams endure vastly different experiences in Formula 1 testing.
For 2018, the junior Red Bull outfit agreed to swap engines with their Woking-based counterparts, taking on the Honda unit which had proven so troublesome with Renault going in the other direction.
So far, however, it has been Toro Rosso and Honda that have racked up the laps with solid pace while McLaren struggle with cooling, electrical and hydraulic problems, the latest being an oil leak which cost them most of Wednesday.
“I don’t care about McLaren but I am convinced that by the end [of the season] we will have a more competitive package than them,” Tost said in Barcelona.
“We are happy with the Honda engine which is doing a fantastic job. Our target is to be in the front part of the midfield and I am sure that during the season we will catch up and we will have a very competitive car."
At McLaren, though, the team insists everything remains under control despite having not completed 100 laps yet over the two days, a figure most are surpassing comfortably in one.
“At the end of the day, we discovered things – yesterday with Stoffel and today with myself,” Fernando Alonso commented. “This is part of testing and hopefully these things won’t happen on Lap 10 in Melbourne.
"In a way, I’m happy to keep making the car stronger and stronger."
The Spaniard claims the only priority now for McLaren would be to complete some race simulations as the rest of the testing checklist has already been ticked off.
"In terms of fundamental answers that we need over the winter test, they are already OK and we have all of them, so I don’t need the last day, to be honest," he claimed.
“I will be in the car, I will drive – hopefully, we will keep discovering new things on the car but if [the first race in] Australia was tomorrow it’s OK.”
Red Bull's Marko wants to repeat Vettel
FIA president Todt excited by current &
Rosberg: Only a "perfect season" enough
Pirelli: 2018 tyres could confuse teams
"Unpredictable" Australian GP may not re
Mercedes boss cautious ahead of F1 seaso
McLaren has left "no stone unturned" to
Ricciardo wants to find the "perfect tea
Grosjean hopes Halo part of "transition"
Williams "intrigued" to see how Stroll p
Red Bull boss sees development as crucia
Haas target front of midfield after stro
Hartley: WEC experience would help Kvyat
Vandoorne enjoying "natural" F1 feeling
Hamilton & Mercedes "committed" to futur
Ocon keen to reignite "very intense" riv
McLaren first to slam Ferrari, FIA over
Hamilton "stronger" than last year as he
Todt: Only F1 complains about the Halo
Ferrari follow Renault by signing top FI
Ferrari can't "hold F1 to ransom" over f
FIA monitoring Renault over rear wing ex
Mercedes go aggressive as Australian GP
Alonso did consider F1 retirement during
Lowe anticipating a year of development
Red Bull rejects Renault deadline for 20
Bottas doubts Mercedes has big advantage
Sauber boss isn't putting pressure on Le
Hamilton support of Bottas is tactical,
Red Bull & Ricciardo have "much more con
Toro Rosso's Hartley targets points afte
Pirelli reveals aggressive tyre choices
McLaren upbeat but "not 100%" ready for
Verstappen: McLaren, Renault threat woul
Barcelona Test 2: Raikkonen keeps Ferrar
Placid Vettel calls for more Ferrari per
Honda improvement was a "matter of time"
Barcelona Test 2: Vettel surges ahead on
Ocon on Force India pace: "You will see"
Mercedes wary of Red Bull threat after R
Barcelona Test 2: Ricciardo sets record
Perez: Force India currently not fourth
Mercedes struggling with Pirelli tyres a
McLaren shake off troubled start to seco
Brakes, not Honda, hampered Toro Rosso o
Magnussen identifies several visibility
Leclerc keeping his "feet on the ground"
Barcelona Test 2: Vettel edges Mercedes
Electrical and cooling problems hit McLa
F1 needs to be "fair to all, including F
Verstappen in "perfect place" to grow an
Perez wants to "work together" with Ocon
Hartley keen to silence Toro Rosso-Honda
Magnussen vows to remain hard but fair o
Mercedes customers not behind FIA engine
Williams deny Martini departure related
Hamilton: Barcelona track has lost "char
F1 teams received $47m less after first
Ricciardo to start considering Red Bull
Hamilton: New Mercedes feel like the "bi
"Perfect" final day of testing pleases A
Verstappen looking past "small hiccups"
Hamilton only focused on own preparation
Honda performance "encouraging" for Toro
Barcelona Test: Hamilton & Mercedes flex
McLaren lambast "selfish" teams after fa
Kubica frustrated by persistent question
Verstappen enthused by new Red Bull perf
Lap count pleases Vettel more than lap t
Gasly reveals Halo tore his race suit du
Barcelona Test: Alonso sets only time as
Barcelona Test: Vettel moves Ferrari to
Ferrari and Mercedes "working as one", s
Martini to end Williams sponsorship afte
Resurfacing has "changed the characteris
Cold weather frustrates Ricciardo despit
Hartley enjoys "really positive" start w
Alonso shrugs off "very, very small" tes
Renault focus on engine reliability knoc
Barcelona Test: Ricciardo leads as Alons
Force India still targeting name change
Mercedes doubts tyre performance will be
Ecclestone warns Ferrari pondering break
Renault admit reliability focus with ini
Force India the final team to unveil 201
Alonso rejects any argument against Halo
Sirotkin doubts tension with Kubica afte
Sainz only focused on Renault ahead of c
Hamilton expects worsening relationship
Hulkenberg targets fight with McLaren in
Grosjean to get a "pretty good idea" of
"Optimistic" Alonso targets F1 title aft
Melandri wins stunning race 1 at Philip
FIA target engine modes in effort to ens
Rowland joins Williams as young test dri
Vettel not "worried" but biding time bef
Return to papaya McLaren shows "deeper e
"Apprehensive" Alonso hopeful McLaren wi
McLaren unveils striking MCL33
Hamilton hopeful new Mercedes "irons out