McLaren executive director Zak Brown says the team's former engine partner Honda is "doing a good job" with new Formula 1 customer Toro Rosso, believing it was "just a matter of time" until the Japanese manufacturer enjoyed a smooth pre-season testing period.

Toro Rosso picked up the Honda works engine supply vacated by McLaren at the end of last season, who in turn secured power units from Renault for 2018, but the two teams have experienced varying fortunes through pre-season testing so far.

While Toro Rosso has avoided all engine issues and managed to rack up the greatest number of laps through the first pre-season test, McLaren has suffered four problems on its car over the past two days, sparking concern in the paddock.

Asked if he was impressed by Honda's reliability so far, Brown said the manufacturer was "doing a good job."

"I know there’s a lot, as you’d expect, at least early in testing a lot of comparisons between them and us," Brown continued.

"But Eric [Boullier] and the full team are focused on our programme and very confident we are going to have a good season.

"They’re doing a good job, we know they’re a great company and it was just a matter of time until they’d see some improvements and they’re having a good testing, and good on them."

McLaren and Honda cut ties after three years at the end of 2017 following a difficult season that saw the British team finish second from bottom in the constructors' championship, causing the relationship with the engine supplier to sour dramatically.

Boullier told RACER earlier this week that McLaren was now able to "go racing" with Renault, having "spent the past three years doing some engineering and car maintenance" while working with Honda.

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