Eric Boullier insists McLaren is 'happy' with Honda's management structure and will not be pushing for changes, despite increasing pressure being levelled on the Japanese manufacturer for its ongoing troubles.
With just eight races of the 2015 Formula 1 season remaining, McLaren – and in particular Honda – have shown precious few gains in terms of performance in recent events, an issue exacerbated by the low downforce venues at Spa and Monza that have plainly exposed the power unit's shortcomings.
The troubles have once again pointed the finger of responsibility towards Honda and its head Yasuhisa Arai and the lack of forthcoming improvements despite ongoing development, with an increasingly sense of frustration being felt behind-the-scenes.
Indeed, as he faced the vast majority of questions during McLaren's media session, Arai-san insists the project is moving in the right direction, but accepts it is suffering with notable shortcomings.
“We measured the sensor on our ICE, the horsepower on the straight and the engine horsepower and deployment for MGU-K and unfortunately we saw less deployment in a straight line so that is the reason why the speed is not so good.
“I think we're in a good direction, but you know that the result is not so good,” he said. “I hope we can do our best in the remainder of the season and we will use our tokens in the next few races.
“We have already found out where our weak point is on the power unit and have already started, for next season, the programmes.”
However, with rivals Red Bull making its feelings towards Renault felt in the wake of its struggles, Boullier insists McLaren isn't going to follow the same path as it regards Honda as a 'partner' and it remains open to its recommendations.
“I think we have a different relationship as they are a privileged customer, but still a customer, whereas we are a works team,” he said. “The relationship is very different. As long as Honda welcomes our recommendations or assumptions or whatever we can bring to help – and as long as the timing suits our strategy and driver wishes – we will never reach that situation.
Boullier also brushed aside suggestions that McLaren should begin exerting more influence on the management structure at Honda – in particular the position of Arai-san -, insisting it is happy with the current 'matrix'.
“To be transparent, I think the structure they put in place is a sort of matrix structure and I think it works, I guess, well. We want to win, we have a timing issue maybe, because we are starting from so far [back], and we want to make sure we can win as early as possible.
“This is where Mclaren will always discuss matters with Honda management and we are happy so far with the structure."