McLaren in trouble, but don't write them off - Brundle

Former driver turned commentator Martin Brundle isn't writing McLaren-Honda off completely this season, but he expects a troubled start for the reunited partnership.

"They are in terrible trouble, aren't they?" He told the Express newspaper, citing their various testing problems as evidence they won't be on the pace in the early races.

However he expects things to improve steadily as the season progresses and even used Red Bull's abysmal 2014 winter as proof that it doesn't necessarily translate into a poor season.

"The McLaren-Honda looked as bad as the Red Bull-Renault last winter, but they finished second in the championship," he added.

"Ron [dennis] says to me that they [Honda] have the best facilities that he has ever seen.

"It looks like they will have some misery at the beginning but I wouldn't write them off for the whole season."

That's a view shared by former world champion Damon Hill who reckons the team must be challenging for podiums come the final few races of the season.

"I expect a modest beginning but you want to see a trajectory which is pushing to regular top sixes and a podium at the end of the season. That will be very good," he said.

"It is not good enough, because only winning is good enough. But if McLaren end the season challenging for podiums they have made a massive step forward.

"They can’t be saying they need to be in the top 10, that is not good enough for a team like McLaren."