Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai has warned there are no guarantees over their 2016 Formula 1 performance, but insists they head into the new season with some confidence.
The Japanese manufacturer, which returned to the sport in 2015 to exclusively supply the McLaren F1 team with power units, struggled on its return, scoring just 27 points whilst burning through more than ten units per driver – double the allocated limit.
Arai admits many of their problems stemmed from insufficient experience, particularly due to their lack of involvement in F1 since they last competed in 2008 as a manufacturer team.
"Early in the season, we felt the effects of our seven-year absence from racing," Arai told the Nikkei Asian Review.
"We anticipated technological troubles. And although we recognised them, we failed to quickly pinpoint the causes, come up with measures to resolve them and make the necessary adjustments. We were suffering from what athletes call a 'lack of match sharpness.'"
Arai admits Honda quickly recognised its weaknesses, but due to the limited token system, they were unable to make the wholesale changes required to address them until the winter when the token system resets.
Arai is making no guarantees they will all be completely resolved over such a short timeframe, but insists they head into the new season with confidence.
"Last August, we began studies on an engine aimed at thoroughly resolving our problems for the 2016 season at our laboratory in Sakura," he added. "I couldn't say we would definitely find solutions within a year. Members of our development team have been extremely busy, because they were simultaneously working to improve our power unit in 2015 and drastically reworking designs for 2016.
"We're keen to meet everyone's expectations and reach the podium as soon as possible. We will resolve the technological problems we failed to address in 2015 and will head into the opening race with confidence."