Fernando Alonso maintains his view that McLaren's decision to form a new collaboration with Honda is the right thing for its future if it wants to compete with Mercedes in F1.

The two-time world champion returned to the McLaren fold over the winter but is enduring a torrid start to the 2015 F1 season as both he and team-mate Jenson Button struggle with an uncompetitive package underpinned by poor reliability.

Nonetheless, though Alonso remains without a single point after seven races having been forced to retire from each of the last three events, he remains relaxed about the situation, reiterating that he would rather endure the short-term pain of stilted development if it leads to greater things in the future.

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"It's going to be difficult, yes, no doubt. Red Bull won three races last year with a deficit and a winter test that was quite terrible. They recovered quite quickly, so I'm positive and optimistic we will reach a very level this year.

"I don't know if it will be a podium or not, but to beat Mercedes you need to do something extreme and with Honda we are doing an extreme approach. It is taking time, but I'm optimistic."