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Honda: 'Podium, wins in next two years'

Honda's F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa warns that even podiums are for now a distant target for the McLaren-Honda project.

Honda's Formula 1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa has warned that even podiums are for now a distant target for the McLaren-Honda project.

McLaren supremo Ron Dennis had eyebrows raising in the paddock recently when he declared that the Anglo-Japanese collaboration will succeed Mercedes as F1's next champions.

Fernando Alonso agrees, telling Marca: "After Mercedes, someone will follow and if you look at the other teams and manufacturers I don't think there's anyone in a better position for the future than McLaren-Honda."

The Spaniard has even targeted the world title as early as 2017, but according to Honda's Hasegawa, that might be premature.

"We are not satisfied, but our results this year have been reasonable, considering where we came from," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"Yes, we are on schedule. And we are optimistic about a podium or a victory within the next two years."

A podium goal in 2016, the Japanese added, is not realistic.

"No. Only with luck," said Hasegawa. "Our realistic goal is to regularly finish in the points."

He said that Honda are happy with the progress it has made so far this year.

"On the electrical side, we have virtually reached the level of the other manufacturers. Now we need to focus on the internal combustion engine," he said.

McLaren sit seventh in the team rankings ahead of this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

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Jenson Button of McLaren Honda during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 28, 2016
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