Ron Dennis says he remains certain McLaren's decision to go into collaboration with Honda will be the best thing for team in the long run, accepting the 'acute pain' it is suffering now is symptomatic of the strides it is trying to make.

With only five rounds of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship season remaining, McLaren-Honda has managed just four top ten finishes so far this season, its struggles with the Honda engine in particular typified on home soil at Suzuka when a bright start magnified the speed differential of rivals as they came back through.

Labelling the Honda engine as an 'embarrassment' by Fernando Alonso - who was promptly rebuked for the comments - though Dennis isn't enjoying McLaren's current hardships, he is relaxed about the prolonged timeframe for competitiveness.

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"Time frame in engine terms is very controlled by what is a shifting position towards tokens and black box versus white box, basically the freezing of specific components. The misconception that many people have is that every time you change the engine you give up a token, but that is not the way it is. You develop the engine as much as you want, you have token freedom away from the circuit and the number of engines used, and it's only and when you have got significant improvements that you issue an engine change with the tokens.

"Theoretically in an ideal world that would be every fourth race, but we have tried to move forward faster and that has affected reliability and made the whole thing more challenging. In the end the very acute pain we have inflicted on ourselves is the fastest way to get back to where we need to get to,"

Using the Japanese Grand Prix as an opportunity to meet with Honda top brass, Dennis insists the manufacturer is aware of the difficulties and are working hard to rectify it.

"I think the period I spent was extremely constructive and the discussions I had were extremely constructive and the way that you build relationships and achieve things together is by coming together and not going apart. It's about being transparent, building and working together to solve the issues. I can't see anything positive coming out of public criticism.

"I don't believe there is any doubt at all that every level of Honda knows the challenge of Formula One and exactly where we are at the moment."