Jenson Button shrugged off a pitstop "hiccup" which ruined his Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday and insisted McLaren had made great strides in improving their under-performing car.
Button's challenge was effectively ended by the botched pitstop, when he drove off before his right front wheel had been properly attached on lap 36. But he said the race could have been "interesting" if he had been able to finish it.
Button eventually retired on the 54th lap with vibration problems, with new team-mate Sergio Perez coming home in ninth.
"We had a problem with the pitstop and once you turn the car off, go back and change the wheel, you're never going to get a result," he said.
"We had a chance of getting a point in the end, but I was struggling with the front left. It kept locking up and it produced such a bad vibration. I think they were worried about the front left suspension because of the locking, so they called me in."
However Button, who briefly led before the pitstop, said McLaren had already improved since last week, when the celebrated British team were shocked at their performance and admitted they could go back to last year's car model.
"Apart from the hiccup in the pitstop, I think (it was a) great job this weekend from where we were in Melbourne," he said, referring to last week's season-opener.
"It's not so bad, but it's a lot of points to throw away, when they are not easy to come by for us at the moment," Button added.