Honda admits to 2014 fears
Honda fears the knowledge other engine manufacturers will gain in 2014 could put it on the back foot when it returns to Formula One.
It was announced earlier this year that Honda would supply engines for McLaren from 2015 having been enticed back to the sport by the new regulations. However, Yasuhisa Arai, Honda's chief officer of motorsports, says the things that rival manufacturers will learn at races next season will potentially allow them to make quicker progress the following year.
"There are both advantages and disadvantages of participating from 2014," Arai 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."
However, Arai believes the past successes that Honda and McLaren share will stand it in good stead when it finally returns.
"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."