Fernando Alonso says he doesn't expect 2016 to be as tough on McLaren but if the team's problems do continue next year he is prepared to grind through it ahead of the 2017 regulation changes.
The two-time F1 world champion has endured his worst campaign of his F1 career since his rookie year with minnows Minardi in 2001. The Spaniard was forced to miss the opening race of the year due to injury suffered in a pre-season testing shunt and has notched up just two points finishes all year.
Alonso's problems have largely been down to the uncompetitive and unreliable McLaren Honda machine and is now looking to put this season behind him by concentrating on a positive winter testing period.
The McLaren driver has high hopes for next season and that his team can learn from its mistakes and says it would be 'surprising and disappointing' if 2016 follows the current slump.
“Definitely it would be a frustrating year and sad news because we have high hopes for next year,” Alonso said. “I really trust the team and really believe we have the talented people and the resources to do well. If we go to testing and we have a bad car, first it will be a surprise for me, it will be a disappointment for me, but I don't think there will be any problem.”
Alonso also feels regardless of the levels of success 2016 brings McLaren can use it to prepare for the season after when a raft of regulation changes are set to be implemented.
“It will be another year of learning and preparing for 2017,” he explained. “But that would be a surprise for me if we are not very competitive next year because we have everything and the car is responding well.
“Aerodynamically we have understood the direction to go and the car is improving. I can see when we are on the track how we are able to attack the corner and how fast we are in the corners, so I am not afraid that next year's car will not be at the top level.
“The engine is the question mark, but what happened in 2014 and the level that the other companies reached in 2014 and all these levels and learning we have in 2015 with Honda is much better, so I think we are a step ahead. The only question now is having a good winter.”
Reflecting on 2015 in the build up to the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Alonso has admitted he ha lacked motivation at times and running in 'economy mode' in preparation for next year.
“When you are running at the front and you have more motivation that helps of course, but I am on standby, let's say, economy mode in order to have full energy next year.”