Honda is hoping to introduce two more updates this year before switching its full attention to the 2017 Formula 1 season, according to its chief Yusuke Hasegawa
The Japanese manufacturer's ideal plan is to bring the first of those upgrades for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, but it could be ready for Italy a week later instead. The final update is then planned for some point during the late-season flyaway races.
Both are expected to be focused on the internal combustion engine, which is currently the weakest part of the Honda unit.
It has so far used 22 of its engine development tokens, most recently spending two on an ICE intake system update for the British GP, and has 10 remaining.
"Sakura is always developing, so as soon as we are ready, we will introduce it," Hasegawa told Autosport.
"We only have nine races, so even if you have an idea, we only have two chances to introduce it.
"So we have one chance at Spa and one more after that and the plan is still to use all of the tokens."
Hasegawa admitted one of his biggest challenges is to decide when to stop development on this year's engine, with a full switch to 2017 expected at the start of October.
"This is the biggest job for me, deciding when to divert resource from this year to next year," he said.
"So far, I won't give up on this year, but maybe this month, I have to decide.
"After September, the research will stop.
"We will have dyno testing in October and November but we will have no research for this year after that."
McLaren-Honda has been the fourth best team on occasion in recent races and this is something Hasegawa is hoping it can achieve more regularly.
"I'd like to be the fourth team - Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and the McLaren-Honda," he said.
"It's difficult to measure the level of performance, but we want to repeat the Hungary situation.
"If we can achieve that level, we have to be satisfied and maybe with some luck we will get the chance to get a podium."
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