McLaren-Honda won't switch focus to 2016 Formula 1 season

The McLaren Formula 1 team has no intention of dropping focus on this year's car to concentrate on 2016, says chief operating officer Jonathan Neale

McLaren-Honda won't switch focus to 2016 Formula 1 season

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button took hefty grid penalties in Austria after exceeding their engine allocation, as Honda's troubled F1 return continued.

It was the latest in a string of setbacks for McLaren, which has scored just four points in eight races this season.

Last month, Alonso suggested it was time for McLaren to turn its attention to next year, considering its position.

But with the rules remaining relatively stable into next year, Neale told AUTOSPORT that McLaren plans to continue pushing.

"It's too early to consider switching attention to next year because the rules are evolutionary," said Neale, who was speaking from an event with Esso, McLaren-Honda technology partner.

"There is a glide path into next year so we will be flat out until the last race, while still thinking about next year.

"Elements like the front wing, rear wing, floor and brake ducts - a large part of that will carry through in concept terms.

"So with that in mind, we have to keep pushing on this year."

Amid plans for a revolutionary overhaul of the sport's regulations in 2017, Neale said McLaren would ensure it diverted resources to that programme in good time.

"The rules will be evolutionary until we get to 2017," added Neale.

"While we don't know what the regulations will be, there is going to be a step change and we have to prepare well for that.

"With evolutionary change, it's much cheaper and you carry concepts forward.

"But with a step change in the engine or chassis, all bets off and we go deep into R&D.

"Then we just need time to get that right."

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