Fernando Alonso has praised the efforts of Honda with its improvements on its power units as results have consistently improved and feels the points finishes have given the Japanese manufacturer confidence to be 'more creative with design and process'.

After the nightmare start to Honda's return to F1 with McLaren in 2015, the team has steadily seen progress up the F1 field with Alonso taking four seventh place finishes over the past six races.

The former F1 world champion is pleased by the steps in performance which have seen him become a regular midfield challenger against the likes of Force India and Williams and is hoping for a similar gain in 2017.

"They are doing their job and doing the maximum," Alonso said. "They are following their times. Everything made in Japan, only with Japanese people, and it's their mission, so I'm very proud to be part of this project since day one. And now the results are coming I think they are more creative in terms of design and progress.

"I found it very interesting from day one, working with Honda. I think the philosophy and approach they have to racing in general, and in some extent to life, is interesting.

"They've been following their programme - sometimes for us, sportsmen or fans, it's frustrating as we want everything now, or tomorrow - but there's not this magic solution in Formula One, everything needs some time."

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With Honda targeting a strong result on home soil to make the local factory support proud Alonso is confident his run of results can continue.

The Spaniard will be boosted by a fresh engine which he opted to take up in Malaysia which forced him to start at the back of the grid at Sepang. Alonso has confirmed the new engine as a better specification for improved reliability but the same power output as the previous verison.

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