Fernando Alonso reckons the next couple of months will likely prove crucial to McLaren's 2018 season and to its podium ambitions.
The Spaniard has expressed his conviction that the Woking-based outfit can soon snap at the heels of Red Bull Racing, but also admits his Renault-powered MCL33 remains a work in progress in the short-term.
"There is still a lot to improve to catch the top three teams," said the four-time world champion.
"It's quite a reasonable gap to close but it is up to us now."
"The next two months are crucial for us. If it is not a world championship fight, it will hopefully be some podium positions."
Alonso insists McLaren now has its fate between its own hands, something F1's second most successful team has not enjoyed for some time he says.
"It is probably the first time in the last three years it is up to us - the car has the potential," said the 36-year-old.
"We had some ups and downs in [pre-season] testing and then in Australia it was the same thing and the qualifying was not smooth enough to show the potential.
"It was a good race, help from the safety car, but we take this fifth place and move on. It is up to the team to deliver the performance in the next four, five, six races."
A firm believer in McLaren's resurgence, Alonso is holding on to his hopes of clinching a podium sooner rather than later.
"Yes. We were two places from the podium in Australia. Anything can happen," he said.
"If you are close to that position, sooner or later that opportunity will come."