Honda admits it is already on the back foot against 2014 World Touring Car newcomer Citroen.
Where the French firm has been able to commence testing of its new C-Elysee, Honda - which clinched the 2013 manufacturers' title last weekend at Sonoma - does not expect to have its new car until January next year.
Honda's motorsport manager William de Braekeleer admits Citroen has stolen an early march and could therefore be in better shape in the early stages of next year's championship.
"Citroen are in better shape than us timing-wise, and obviously that can be seen as a disadvantage," he told AUTOSPORT.
"It is obvious Citroen started to build and develop before us. They have an advantage; we might arrive in April with a less achieved car than Citroen.
"There are positives though: we will be able to make improvements through the year, unlike this season, so by mid-year we might have caught up.
"JAS [which runs the factory Honda programme] has proven in the past it can do a quick job."
De Braekeleer also praised Yokohama's decision to at least temporarily withhold its new 2014 rubber in a bid to improve parity between the teams next year.
"We are really pleased with the Yokohama attitude to make it as fair as possible," he said.
"With new tyres we would be at a really big disadvantage [to Citroen], so they plan to only give the tyres at the moment when everyone is nearly ready."