McLaren racing director Eric Boullier remains confident that the team can make significant strides forward once the reliability issues with the Honda power unit are resolved.
The British team joined forces with Honda at the beginning of 2015, but the Japanese manufacturer has endured a baptism of fire in the new technical era of Formula 1.
Due to a variety of problems with the Honda power unit, McLaren has been limited to just five points from the opening nine races of the season.
Jenson Button picked up four points for eighth place at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, whilst Fernando Alonso squeezed into the top ten at Silverstone to score his first point of the season.
However, with nine retirements in the first nine races, the team is struggling to maintain the optimism that arrived with Honda at the beginning of the season.
Speaking to the official Formula 1 website, Boullier made clear that McLaren is not looking to have any stern words with Honda as the team itself is also failing to meet its own high expectations.
“We are not ready,” Boullier said. “We are not doing a good enough job right now – but we know that we have a lot of potential in our car.
“Just give us time. Once we’ve solved some of the reliability issues we will make absolutely significant steps forward.”
Boullier admitted that is was difficult to put a figure on how far behind schedule the McLaren-Honda project was, but set a clear target for what the team is hoping to achieve before the end of the season.
“If you tell me tomorrow that we can run full downforce then we will be seconds faster,” Boullier said. “We will feel competitive if we can be in Q3 all the time and fighting for top six.
“That would be a major achievement even if it doesn’t sound very exciting, as we are here to win. We still target being competitive by the end of the season.”