Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly reckons Honda could surprise "in a nice way" if the Japanese manufacturer keeps its current momentum going.
Following the end of its painful three-year relationship with McLaren, Honda is on the verge of a new dawn with Toro Rosso, its new partner.
While the manufacturer's dismal track record with regard to performance and reliability should be a source on anxiety at Faenza, Gasly is confident Honda is slowly but surely turning its fortunes around.
"Their goal is to prove to everyone that they can make fast engines," Gasly told GPUpdate.net.
"We are the only ones to have their engines, so we're sure they'll give everything they can to give the best treatment and there will be no compromise.
"I think this is a positive thing, they will have an extra three or four months to improve before the beginning of the year," adds the young Frenchman.
"At the moment they are definitely improving; when you look at the McLarens, they are much better now [at the end of the season] than like six months ago.
"If they manage to keep this momentum I think it will be a good move and I think it will surprise everyone in a nice way, so let's hope it can happen."
The 21-year-old rookie isn't expecting any miracles, but if Honda's steady progress continues, Toro Rosso could deliver a reasonably good campaign in 2018.
"I'm not expecting a Brawn GP season but maybe it could be a surprise and it'll be really nice to see it!"