McLaren's Capito banking on big improvements by Honda for 2017

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McLaren Racing boss Jost Capito is expecting a "big step" forward by Honda over the winter as the Japanese manufacturer overhauls the design of its power unit.

While Honda has made great strides this season after a dismal 2015 campaign marked by mediocre power and poor reliability, its performance level this season still remained substantially below that of its Mercedes and Ferrari.

As a consequence, and thanks to F1's decision to scrap development tokens, Honda embarked on a rethink of its approach, initiating a completely new design of its power unit which McLaren's Capito believes will finally measure up to the team's ambitions.

"I expect improvement on the car from McLaren and a big step from Honda on the engine," he told BBC Sport.

"It takes always a certain time to form a team with a new partner like this. McLaren and Honda were partners before but it was a long time ago.

"All new people are involved and it takes a while for Honda to understand how McLaren works and for McLaren to understand how Honda works. I think this is now achieved."

The former Volkswagen motorsport manager is confident that McLaren-Honda's improvements on all fronts will ultimately bring the Woking-based outfit back into the winner's circle.

"It is a very good partnership and the Honda guys understand more what is needed from the chassis side and we understand more what is needed from the engine side as well.

"I expect really not just the improvement of each but also the improvement of the overall relationship. So one plus one is not two - it should be three."

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