Honda F1 boss Yasuhisa Arai says he is confident the manufacturer can make the majority of its much needed strides over the course of the winter before progressing from there.
With just one round of the 2015 F1 season remaining, Honda is once more under pressure to prove it can make significant gains having suffered yet more reliability issues in Brazil, while performance deficits prevented both Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso once again failed to progress beyond the first stage of qualifying.
Despite this, Button and Alonso maintain they are confident Honda can make the necessary improvements to the engine over the winter period, having been restricted to what it can change in 2015.
It is a view shared by Arai, who says Honda has a plan in place that will see it 'catch up' other teams when racing gets underway again in 2016
“The team knows where the strong points are and where the weak points are,” he said. “So we will improve the weak points and catch up with the other teams. Maybe after that we get stronger and more competitive. The concept is already one we have shared, discussed and confirmed.”
Reflecting on the Brazilian Grand Prix, though Button and Alonso could only manage 14th and 15th place finishes, Arai says Button was positive about the cra.
“Very positive comments we got,” he said. “He said it is a very positive impression, but we still need more set-up time. Not only the power side but also the chassis side - the suspension, the front rake, everything - we need more time.”