Fernando Alonso maintains he is 'in the right place' despite the ongoing and well publicised struggles of the McLaren-Honda team.
Honda's return to F1 as an engine manufacturer in collaboration with McLaren in 2015 has been beset by persistent reliability and performance issues, with the Spaniard's dismal season typified at the penultimate round in Brazil by engine failures in both practice and qualifying.
However, though Alonso is resigned to the fact he also struggle at the upcoming Abu Dhabi finale, he maintains Honda's troubles can be overcome for the 2016 season, suggesting it can make a Ferrari-style step forward over the winter.
“I know it has been a difficult and frustrating year for all of us because the expectations were very high, but at the same time the 2014 problems of Renault and Ferrari are more or less the same as we are having now with Honda,” he said.
“Only Mercedes did everything right in the first year and all the other three manufacturers have had some difficult seasons. But our difficult season compared to the 2014 numbers of Renault and Ferrari are much greater, so if we make normal progress over the winter, next year should be much better than any other manufacturer.”
Despite his troubles, Alonso is insistent that defecting from Ferrari to McLaren was the right thing for him, saying he believes in the 'different philosophy' he thinks is needed to overhaul Mercedes.
“It has been hard, definitely, because we all want to win, but it has been hard for some years now. In my case I have realised that I could not win after a couple of races in the championship because we knew that Red Bull was one second faster than every other car and last year we knew that Mercedes was one second faster.
“We have realised that for a couple of years now, but it was one of the reasons why I moved here to McLaren-Honda, to beat Mercedes in the near future. We need to have a very strong project and a different type of philosophy to understand the new Formula One and I think I'm in the right place.”