Jenson Button is confident that Honda can emulate the gains made by Ferrari over the winter as he seeks to return to the forefront of F1 after a year in the lower midfield.
McLaren-Honda endured a torrid 2015 season, with the team finishing scoring just 27 points en route to ninth in the standings. Much of squad’s problems can be attributed to an underpowered (and unreliable) Honda engine, which was significantly slower than not only pacesetter Mercedes, but also Renault at the other end of the spectrum.
But having seen the Prancing Horse make major strides over the previous off-season and emerge as Mercedes' closest challenger, Button is confident that the Japanese manufacturer can also take full advantage of the development time.
"It was great to see [Ferrari] pick up the pace," Button said. "I heard rumours they found a hundred horsepower over the winter. I don't know if that's true or not. But whatever they found, it was massive and they took the fight to Mercedes on many occasions. It was good to see.
"Obviously we need to make even bigger steps if we want to achieve that, but it can be done over a winter."
Button acknowledged that it will be an uphill task for McLaren-Honda to close the gap to the front runners, but says ‘a lot is coming’ on both the chassis and engine side.
"I think there are always issues on both sides, but I don't think Honda get blamed for everything, I don't think that at all. We had a lot of issues this year. We've got to resolve them as quick as possible because next season is not far away. It's going to be a long, hard winter for us, but an exciting one as well, as there is a lot coming."
by Rachit Thukral