McLaren chief Ron Dennis is confident that his outfit can knock Mercedes off its perch as it seeks to return to the sharp end of the grid.
Mercedes has stolen a march on its rival since the introduction of the new hybrid power unit regulations, winning back-to-back world titles in 2014 and 2015. It continues to dominate the sport, having won four of the five races of the season.
Although McLaren themselves have not won a race since the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2012, Dennis says he has ‘firm belief’ in his team and engine partners Honda to shuffle the competitive order.
"I honestly believe that the next world champions after Mercedes will be McLaren. We'll get to that goal before other people,’’ Dennis told the BBC.
"It is challenging but I have a firm belief in the technical competence of our people and a firm belief in Honda."
Formula 1 is set to introduce a major overhaul of chassis regulations next year that is likely to level the playing field. And Dennis is keen on taking advantage of this opportunity.
"The 2017 regulations level the playing field and it is enough time for us to catch up with Honda, so I think we'll have a good chance next year," he said.
"I think we can win races. I don't want to predict world championships but I do feel that dethroning Mercedes-Benz is going to be a challenge for everybody and I have reason to genuinely believe we'll get there before anybody else."
by Rachit Thukral