Honda targeting Q3 in 2016

© XPB 

Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai says a realistic target for McLaren in 2016 at this stage is to regularly reach Q3.

The first year of the renewed McLaren-Honda partnership proved to be a difficult one, with the team scoring just 27 points as a result of reliability and performance issues. The team failed to make it through to the final part of qualifying at any stage last season, and while Arai is confident the winter will allow Honda to make fundamental changes it was unable to address during 2015, he told F1i it is important the team does not set unreasonable targets.

“We want to solve the ERS issues and also the reliability issues before Melbourne - that’s technically,” Arai said during an exclusive interview. “And as a team, very honestly, we want to enter in to Q3. That’s being very honest.”

And Arai says he has learned from revealing his hopes for Honda’s first season before the McLaren had run sufficiently on track.

“You know that before the winter tests [in 2015] I said some things about podiums and everyone said I had a big mouth! I hope we can get to the podium but I can’t say right now when or what race. Everyone - not only me - hopes to be in a good position. So the first step is to get in to Q3, that’s the first step.”

Honda exclusive Q&A: Realistic expectations for 2016

Feature: What happens on any given F1 Saturday?

Technical preview: What changes in 2016?

Use the red tabs on either side of the screen to scroll through more Formula One news and features

Five things to look forward in F1 in 2016

Key dates for the 2016 F1 season

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter