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McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael is optimistic that the team will be able to fight at the front of the field from the very first round next season, with confidence high amongst staff members after an impressive end to the 2012 campaign.
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button claimed respective victories in the United States and Brazilian Grands Prix as the season drew to a close, leaving Michael confident of further success when the opening round arrives in Melbourne next March.
"The car was really quick in the last two races and I think we can look forward to some really strong performances next year," Michael, who switched to McLaren from Williams at the end of 2011, explained to Sky Sports News. "We have to make the normal gains you have to do over winter and Red Bull and Ferrari will be flat out doing that, as will the other teams trying to catch up - Lotus and Mercedes.
"We're pretty confident we can do the right things over the winter and start off strong. We're going to (the season-opening Grand Prix in) Melbourne to win."
Button, who won this year's Australian Grand Prix in dominant fashion, will be joined at McLaren by Mexico's Sergio Pérez in 2013, with the latter moving from Sauber.
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