Yasuhisa Arai says Honda is already turning its attentions to next year's power unit in an effort to start the 2016 season on a stronger footing, says he hopes to see the 'big step' it needs to be more competitive.

Honda's troubled return to F1 as an engine supplier to McLaren endured one of its more telling weekends on home soil in Japan, as the power differential between the MP4-30 and its rivals was made plainly clear around the Honda-owned circuit in the race.

With five races of the season remaining, Honda will start preparing for 2016, where Arai is hoping for a significant step forward similar to that enjoyed by Ferrari this year.

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"Already we know that we are behind and we have already started to prepare next season's engine, including some layout change which I can confirm is on schedule. I hope we can make a big step."

It is a strategy that Fernando Alonso believes will be more beneficial in the long run, even though he still feels there is still much to learn over the final races.

"It's going to be difficult to see big progress - the limitations we have now are quite clear and it will require a lot of time," he said. "The winter will be the time to make the most progress but we're still using these remaining races for some set-up direction for next year, as well as some aerodynamic improvements that may come to some races, and some power unit.

"We are down on laps, we are down on mileage on the whole package and every lap we do we are learning something. I am sure that, in the remaining races, some interesting information will come."