Jenson Button says McLaren can be "really proud" of the progress it displayed during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.
McLaren looked competitive on a power-sensitive circuit, with Button finished FP2 with the third fastest time, leading the team to target a place in Q3. While qualifying didn't go to plan as both cars dropped out in Q2, Button was well placed in the race before retiring with a power unit problem.
Stoffel Vandoorne scored a point on his grand prix debut and despite Button's misfortune the 2009 world champion praised McLaren's progress.
"It didn’t happen in the end, a shame," Button said. "But in general the car itself is a definite improvement. We were third quickest in FP2, I don’t think that’s where we are but it shows we’ve made a good step forward and we can be really proud of that as a team.
"It’s just the little niggly problems like we’ve had [in the Bahrain race] - it could have been a good points haul."
Racing director Eric Boullier believes Button could have beaten both Williams cars as well as Danii Kvyat's Red Bull in Bahrain.
"We believe Jenson could have had a good result, at least seventh," Boullier said. "That could have been a different story.
"With the pace we had with the car, and [Button] was very happy with the car balance. We could save a lot of fuel on the first lap of the race and then you know with the pace we had with Stoffel and the pace we had with JB where we could have been. Obviously it is if, but it would have been somewhere around there."