There was a time when such a forecast would have spelled doom and gloom, but Nico Rosberg's prediction that McLaren will achieve a podium in 2017 is actually an upbeat view!
The times, they are a changin', goes the old Bob Dylan tune, but in McLaren's case, its times and fortunes changed for the worse when it partnered with Honda in 2015. And it's been an uphill battled ever since.
But progress has definitely been made at the Woking-based team, and although an outright win remains a distant prospect for 2017, a return to the top 3 is possible, according to reigning world champion Nico Rosberg.
"Fernando will be on the podium this year or very close to it," the German told Spanish sports daily Diario Sport.
"He (Alonso) has a great chance but we will have to wait, because the same thing can happen with other drivers and teams too," Rosberg added.
"But I do think McLaren will significantly improve its performance. I don't expect them to dominate, but they have a new opportunity and they will definitely take advantage of it."
Despite Rosberg's positive view of McLaren's performance, he still sees his old team leading the pack this year.
"I don't think it's going to change," he said, referring to Mercedes' recent dominance. "It's a great team that works like an oiled machine."