Eric Boullier has billed Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso's "experience and charisma" as one of the "biggest strengths" in dealing with Honda.
The fledgling partnership, which only began this season, has been hampered by reliability issues which have left McLaren down in eighth place in the Constructors' Championship.
Of late there have been signs of improvement, most recently in Hungary where the team recorded their first double points-haul of the campaign.
Those improvements have been helped a lot by Button and Alonso's relationship with Honda, who Boullier says are more open to listening given the duo's championship-winning experience.
"The biggest strength is obviously their experience and their charisma," he told F1i.com.
"When they speak, they are listened to.
"So their biggest strength is when they speak to the Honda engineers they are very much listened to, maybe more than a junior driver."
Asked whether that meant retaining Kevin Magnussen, who McLaren demoted to test driver in favour of signing Alonso for this season, would have been a 'risk', the Racing Director said: "Not risky, but it would have been a different scenario which we would have handled differently.
"But having both World Champion drivers with such an aura and charisma is driving us faster and putting positive pressure on us."