MAY 4, 2015
Honda not giving up on podium in 2015
Honda is not yet abandoning the idea of powering McLaren to the podium in 2015.
Amid all the hype about the reunion of the ultra-successful names in formula one, McLaren-Honda has struggled so far this season.
But the MP4-30 has made significant progress since the Melbourne season opener, and star driver Fernando Alonso has suggested Q3 and a points finish might be a realistic target for his home race in Barcelona this weekend.
"Day by day," agreed Honda's F1 chief Yasuhisa Arabi, "we can see real progress.
"I am confident that our efforts will yield results," he told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.
Arai admitted that Bahrain was a terrible weekend for Jenson Button, whose troublesome car did not even make the grid, "but I am sure that we will be able to solve the problems".
"We have worked hard for the first European race," the Japanese added.
"We have not yet achieved the results we wanted, but we have already been able to improve a lot, which we could see with Alonso's qualifying and race performance" in Bahrain, Arai continued.
"I would say that we are on the way up the mountain now, although not yet at the top. The podium is our hope and aspiration for the remaining 15 races," he added.
Asked if F1's new 'power unit' era has proved more difficult for Honda than first imagined, Arai answered: "I would not say more difficult, but more diverse.
"It is important for Honda to change its working culture, so we are fine-tuning the harmonisation, mechanical work, learning and leadership," he revealed.