Former Formula 1 engineer Mike Gascoyne believes that Honda should not have shouldered all the blame for McLaren's dismal 2015 season.
Gascoyne, who worked for a plethora of teams in F1, including Tyrrell, Benetton/Renault and Toyota, recognized McLaren-Honda's progress based on its pre-season testing results in Barcelona, but the British engineer thinks a return to the podium in 2016 is unlikely.
"I think that's a tall ask," Gascoyne told Sky Sports F1. "I know Fernando (Alonso) quite well and he didn't look to be brimming with confidence to me.
"They've had a much more solid start to the season and got a lot more laps in, and for sure Honda have made progress with the engine."
Gascoyne, who ended his F1 spell with Caterham in 2011, was rather undecided however on the merit of McLaren's MP4-31 chassis.
"Where is the chassis at? The jury is out for me on that. Last year, they probably hid behind the engine quite a lot, I'm not so sure the chassis is as good as it could be.
"It looks as if they've made improvements but I think there's a long way to go to be at the front."