Honda fear they could be behind by missing 2014

Honda have admitted that missing out on the 2014 season, when the new power unit rules make their debut, could put them on the back foot compared to rivals Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari.

Whilst those three will debut their new engines next year, Honda is waiting until 2015 when its historical partnership with McLaren will reunite.

That, according to Yasuhisa Arai, chief officer of motorsports at Honda, could mean thet miss out on a year of learning.

"There are both advantages and disadvantages of participating from 2014," he told the FIA's Auto magazine. "Many things will happen during the F1 season, and we are in a fortunate situation to be able to observe what will happen.

"However, as we are only able to observe, we cannot physically be at the track to see the problems. Other teams can improve on their problems and progress as the race goes on. How they will progress will be a mystery to us and our engineers must rely on our imaginations."

He does however believe they will benefit from their history with McLaren when they dominated the sport.

"We have had a great history together - 15 wins out of 16 races in 1988. But more important is the mutual respect we have for each other's work ethic and processes. Also, we have the same mentality or feel when we pursue victory and that is very important."