Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai has claimed that it is unfair the engine maker is receiving all criticism and has rebuked doubts that the Japanese firm could make enough of a step forward over the next winter to become competitive.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso was very vocal during the Japanese Grand Prix, leaving no doubt he thinks the Japanese engine is the reason for McLaren Honda's current struggles to find competitiveness.
Honda's motorsport boss however said on Monday that such criticism is unfair, and certainly not helping the situation.
"The communication [with McLaren] is very good, better every day. So I do not quite understand the harassment and demolition I have suffered lately, especially in Monza. Honda is aware of the difference between us and the top teams, we know what we are about and work to stop. I am sorry that we all take the blame us, it's sad."
Arai continued, saying McLaren is a great technical partner, but he hopes they can offer more public support and prevent Honda taking the sole blame.
"It is the responsibility of the team not to create situations like this. As a team we do everything possible to be united and not create division. Honda has always been honest, we explained where we are and what we need to improve. But that has not been done as a team and would have been better to tell all. Unfortunately, only our party has gone. If we add that the results do not come, it seems that Honda is lying and we are not.
"These power units are very complex. We knew it would be very difficult but at the same time, being here in 2015 has allowed us to learn a lot. But again, all is not the responsibility of the engine, also part of the chassis it is suffering a lot."
More in relation to the current engine, Arai reiterated that claims of the power unit coming close to Ferrari was no lie, but instead clarified that he was misunderstood, and he was only pointing at the internal combustion engine, on which the company spent 4 development tokens before the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps weeks ago.
"I am an engineer, and from that point of view I have access to the data. What happens is that, as a team, then we do not get the expected results. I am honest with the data that I offer, I can prove everything I say, but also understand that if the overall performance does not fit, there are people who think that not telling the truth. When I talked to catch up with Ferrari was referring only to the power of the combustion engine."
As we reported earlier as well, Honda's main issue is its insufficiently strong ERS system. The company is aware of that issue, but with limited development tokens to spend, the company opted to first tackle the ICE, leaving the ERS-H and ERS-K largely unchanged until the winter, when one big upgrade can be brought in one move, rather than puzzling updates together.
"On circuits with long straights, we run out of electrical power too early, meaning we lose about 160 horsepower. That loss is far greater than what we can gain from the combustion engine."
Still, while 2015 will see the team continue to struggle throughout, upgrades for 2016 are being worked on.
"To resolve the ERS issues, we need to a redesign of the engine. We are already working on that for next season."
And most importantly, even though a limited 25 development tokens are available for the 2016 project, the regulations will not prevent Honda to upgrade the RA106H into a competitive package.
"Yes, there will be no problem with that."