Sam Michael insists McLaren will get on top of their MP4-18's problem but refused to set a time frame for when that could happen.
McLaren were yet again off the pace in Malaysia on Friday with Sergio Perez and Jenson Button both outside the top ten. The duo were roughly 1.3s down on Kimi Raikkone's P1 time.
The Woking team, though, is adamant a solution will be found as they reckon they know what the problem is.
"To be honest we're looking at all fronts at the moment," said Michael. "We have a pretty good understanding of where we think the issues are, and most of those things are things we have to solve in design back at MTC.
"However we get more and more confidence in knowing what to concentrate on by doing these track tests, because you can set-up certain tests to give you more information about how sensitive a particular area of the car is.
"And that's what we're in the middle of. At this point it's too early to pinpoint externally that's exactly what it is, even though we've got reasonable confidence of what to work on.
"Also internally you have to stay very open minded, because it normally comes through a sequence of different areas and gains. We're open-minded at the moment even if we have a good idea of what it is."
The sporting director, though, refused to set a time frame for when McLaren may be back on top but told F1 journalist Adam Cooper that it will be "as soon as possible.
"With these type of things you're working through lots of different areas on the car, and you will inevitably uncover things as you go along, to know whether you can fix it for China or Bahrain, I can't really say yet. We have a lot of people on it, everyone I should say is on it, and the focus is very much to get it sorted asap. There's some very detailed understanding work going on on the problem.
"The other thing is that when you come out of the other side of this, although you never plan to have an experience like we've had now with this car, normally your understanding gets much deeper when you've had these problems, because you're forced to look up every route to look for issues, and that improves your understanding.
"You normally learn a lot more in the face of adversity, as long as you come out the other side. The work that I've seen going on in the last weeks in the MTC it's quite encouraging that we'll get on top of the problem. I can't give it a time frame at this moment."