Lando Norris qualified third for today's Hungarian Grand Prix, with Oscar Piastri joining him on the second row.
It follows a podium performance in Silverstone last time out, which came off the back of a promising display in Austria.
That uptick in pace has coincided with the introduction of upgrades to the MCL60.
Most evident were changes to the sidepod and engine cover, though there have been revisions to both the front and rear wings, too.
That has seen the squad make a significant leap up the grid in the last two events, though expectations were more tempered ahead of Hungary.
The Hungaroring is regarded as a slow-speed circuit, sometimes called Monaco in a paddock.
McLaren's strength has been high-speed performance, with it somewhat more vulnerable and medium and low-speed.
Logic then followed that the Woking squad would have a more challenging time this weekend, but that hasn't been the case.
“So here in Hungary, even though we say it's low-speed stuff, there's also a lot of medium speed,” Stella explained.
“Actually, it's a track dominated by medium speed – there's possibly more medium speed corners than any other track.
“Then you have high speed as well; corner four, corner 11, they are more than 230 [km/h] in qualifying.
“So it's actually an interesting test for any car because you can see where you are competitive.”
Since the introduction of the upgrades from Austria, both Norris and Piastri have enjoyed increased performance but have remarked that the balance of the car is unchanged and that its weaknesses remain.
The MCL60 remains strong in high-speed corners but loses out in the slower-speed sections.
“We see that we are strong in the medium-high speed because Sector 2, by the way, confirms that we are possibly one of the quickest cars,” Stella explained.
“We still lose time in low-speed, like corner one, corner 12.
“In terms of understanding the picture, it's clear that thanks to the development, in addition to the high-speed competitiveness, we have added now the medium-speed territory in which we seem to be competitive, and there's still work to do on low-speed.”