Jenson Button feels that Mercedes are already 'miles ahead' of their rivals and that it will take many months before they are caught.
McLaren started the season well with both drivers ending up on the podium in Australia but have since struggled to meet their early season expectations.
After putting a terrible 2013 behind them, early optimism has ebbed away and although Button feels McLaren can win the battle with their closest rivals, Mercedes are simply too far ahead.
The Brit told Autosport: "We're bringing updates all the time, some bigger than others, but I
think for any team to find a second is a big ask over the next couple of races. And that's with Mercedes standing still. And they're not going to do that.
"It's going to be tough and we've got to be realistic about it. Some people might over-deliver and we might see in two or three races that we're able to fight them, but I think it would be very impressive for any team to achieve that."
Despite the pessimism, Button is confident the Woking-based team will become the best of the rest. "We're not worried about later in the season," the former World Champion said. "We feel we can develop faster than most teams."
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