McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale says the team is under no illusions that it will automatically resume its pre-summer break form when Formula 1 gets back underway in Belgium this weekend.
After a string of tough races, McLaren got back into contention at the front in Germany before winning in Hungary with Lewis Hamilton.
That gave the team a confidence boost heading into F1's August hiatus, but in a video interview released by McLaren, Neale said there could be another total reset in the pecking order for Spa.
"I think we were probably out-developed around Easter time by some of our competitors, and then we out-developed our competitors through June," he said.
"What happens during July and August is still being played out, so we'll see. But with only a tenth or two separating the top 10 cars, it is still very marginal.
"It's going to be a really excited play-out during the rest of the season."
Neale added that while McLaren was not going to get complacent, it could be confident it had at least arrested its slide.
"I think that the upgrades that we brought through Germany and Hungary have definitely restored a degree of competitiveness, but we can't take anything for granted," he said.
"So we have reasons to believe that we're making progress, but it was a very tight race [in Hungary]. This season is going to run long and hard for everybody."
He also singled out the team's pitcrew for praise, following criticism of some problematic tyre changes early in the year.
"I'm pleased with the way that the race team have got around the pitstops," Neale said.
"It's nice to have fast pitstops but what we're really after is consistency.
"There's no point having 2.31 seconds as the fastest but then doing six, seven, eight second stops filled full of problems."
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