Jenson Button admits "it's going to take a little bit of time" before the Honda engine is up to speed, but he is confident it will be able to challenge the top manufacturers.
Honda returned as McLaren's engine supplier this season with the team eager to repeat the success they had with the Japanese manufacturer in the late 80s and early 90s.
However, the relationship got off to a nightmare start in pre-season testing while things didn't get much better during the first race in Australia with Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen the slowest in qualifying.
Magnussen didn't even start the race as his engine blew up on the way to the grid while Button was the only driver not to score a point as he was last of the 11 finishers.
Despite their current woes, Button says it is important to look to the future.
"Honda could probably have built an engine that is better than where it is now, but it wouldn’t be an engine that could challenge the top manufacturers in the future. Whereas this engine can," he told The Telegraph.
"But you're always going to have more problems with it because you’re pushing the boundaries. The layout of the engine is very aggressive. That’s why we’ve had detuning issues and overheating issues because it is aggressive.
"In many ways, it’s probably wrong for me to say, it’s probably more like a Mercedes than it is the other two manufacturers. In terms of design, aggressiveness, and packaging. But it’s going to take a little bit of time.
"If we didn’t have that hope you wouldn’t see the strong effort by the whole team. They’re not just here because they’re paid to be here. They’re here because they’re passionate about racing. They’re looking forward to the future as much as I am."
The F1 circus moves to Malaysia next week where temperatures rarely drop below 35 degrees Celsius, but Button is confident the engine will hold up.
"We’ve got two weeks to improve cooling to the certain parts that need it," he added. "I don’t have any worries with cooling at the next race."