Jenson Button admits 2015 "has been the trickiest year ever" for the majority of members within McLaren.
The renewed partnership with Honda resulted in a challenging season for McLaren as it scored just 27 points in total and finished ninth in the constructors' championship. With a new aerodynamic philosophy allied to Honda's immature power unit, Button says plenty of progress has been made even though he and Fernando Alonso have never had such a difficult year.
“It’s been a long and challenging season but a massive learning curve for all of us," Button said. "I think we’ve been saying all year this is still a very young package and partnership, but we’ve learned a lot this year – and we needed to, to move forward and be competitive next year.
"It was positive learning but for all of us it has been the trickiest year ever, for the drivers and probably for the whole team. Sometimes you need that to enjoy the good times better so hopefully the good times are just around the corner."
And while Button insists McLaren was prepared for a tough season before pre-season testing started, he concedes it was worse than the team could have predicted.
"We knew this year would be difficult, we just didn’t know how difficult it would be. We got our heads down and didn’t expect anything. If people ask you 'do you expect a podium before the end of the season', you say 'yes' but you don’t really know what to expect.
"It’s been a very difficult year but it is important to go through the difficult times, not just as a driver but also as an individual and that goes for the whole team."