Jenson Button believes McLaren have taken significant strides forward in terms of aerodynamics under new chief engineer Peter Prodromou, but says it is difficult to extract those gains due to their engine woes.
Prodromou, who was part of Adrian Newey's design team that won multiple titles with Red Bull, joined McLaren in 2013, but he had to wait until September 2014 before he finally took up his new position at Woking.
It meant he was able to help with the design of McLaren's 2015 challenger, the MP4-30, and Button is impressed with the way he has gone about his job, but admits the current struggles with the Honda power unit means it's difficult to see how much progress they have made.
"You can probably see his influence with the way the car looks and the way the ride height is with the car," he told ESPN. "Prod is coming in at a very difficult time and if he'd came in two years ago then last year would have been a lot more competitive. Now it's very difficult to see how we have improved with the car balance and its speed, but it's definitely there.
"I like his ideas, I like the way he works in terms of how he listens to us as drivers. The details he wants from us in terms of where the wind is coming from with the front wing, the rear wing and the centre of the car, it's really interesting.
"It's a nice feeling as a driver being listened to, because we are the guys in the car and we know what's happening. He is a listener and really uses that information, which is good to see. He's doing a good job but it's not an easy time for him either at the moment. He's been involved in a winning team for so many years and we are not winning here. It's tough, but it can't be easy all the time."