As it establishes its new collaboration with Renault, McLaren will become a de facto works team in 2019 says racing director Eric Boullier.
The fruitless McLaren-Honda partnership was officially put out of its misery in Singapore last week, and the Woking-based outfit now binds its fate to Renault for the next three years.
While the French manufacturer's power unit still lags the engines produced by Ferrari and Mercedes, Boullier casts a positive eye towards the future and its relationship with its new partner.
"After three difficult years, important decisions had to be made before it was too late," said the Frenchman.
"Now what we feel is relief but also sadness because we built a good working relationship with Honda even if there were no results.
"We have information from Renault that proves to us that their engine is competitive. Maybe it is a bit behind the Mercedes and the Ferrari but it has potential," he insisted.
"We have had meetings that show they are working on a reliability and performance package that will be more competitive next year."
Boullier also stressed that once Renault stops supplying Red Bull Racing at the end of 2018, McLaren will become the manufacturer's semi-works representative.
"The other advantage of working with Renault is that we will have a say in engine design," added Boullier.
"In 2019 we will have a solution that is almost 'factory', so it's an advantage over a customer engine."