Mercedes will not be beaten ’in short term’ - Alonso
"It’s a new project and one for the future"
Honda will need to "copy" its rivals if it wants to speed up the process of getting on the pace in F1.
That is the claim of Fernando Alonso, the frustrated Spaniard who admits his motivation is not high at present.
He told the Spanish-language Fox outlet that, on a scale of one to ten, his motivation is currently about "two".
"But after Abu Dhabi, it will be eleven," Alonso insisted.
Indeed, McLaren-Honda does appear to have made some progress recently, with a new engine specification laying the foundation for a step forward in 2016.
Countering recent speculation, Alonso insists he remains committed to the project.
"It’s a new project and one for the future," he is quoted by El Mundo Deportivo.
"Despite the lack of results this year I really think the only team that can beat Mercedes in the future is ours, and no team will beat them in the short term."
The biggest problem with the current package has been identified as Honda’s energy-recovery systems, leaving the drivers sometimes 160 horse power down on the straights.
"It’s just we need to copy the direction everyone has apart from us," Alonso said in Mexico City on Thursday.
He has spoken of catching up 2.5 seconds per lap over the winter, but also acknowledged that "In formula one there is no magic".
"Being out in Q1 one year and the next fighting for the championship is a very, very optimistic target but we will try our best," said Alonso.
Finally, Alonso was reluctant to weigh into the Valentino Rossi versus Marc Marquez dispute, insisting only that "MotoGP has been an example (of great racing) all year and hopefully it stays that way".