Honda: 'We're not running at full power in Melbourne'

McLaren's qualifying performance, which sees them start on the back row of the grid for Sunday's race, isn't a true indicator of the car's pace according to Honda.

Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were five seconds off Lewis Hamilton's pole position lap time and Honda's chief officer of motorsport, Yasuhisa Arai, knows that's unacceptable.

"First of all, I must thank both drivers for maintaining their faith and determination – we’re not where we want to be, but their input and positivity are really helping the whole team push forward," he said.

The manufacturer chose not to run at full power and is believed to have disabled some parts of the energy recovery system in order to achieve enough running.

"Unfortunately, today's higher temperatures didn't help the conservative data mapping settings that we chose to run this weekend," he explained.

"From the outset, we took the decision not to gamble any engines away in the opening race, so there'll be more to come from us."

Meanwhile McLaren racing director Eric Boullier explained that compromises had to be made in order to get some laps under their belts.

"It's true that we went through a lot of systems, but we had even on the last day of testing some issues, so we couldn't use or run all the tools to exploit the performance of our car, so we were expecting to get into trouble in Melbourne," he added.

"And obviously we tried here to achieve more mileage actually than we maybe have done in testing, so at least to be able to run in every session. And to achieve this we had to make some compromises."