Honda Formula 1 boss Yasuhisa Arai says both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button understand the Japanese manufacturer's plight and are patient enough to wait for progress despite a frustrating season.
The McLaren duo has endured one of the worst years of their careers in terms of results, as the team has struggled for pace and reliability in Honda's return to the sport.
Button is 16th in the standings, one place ahead of a Alonso, with a total of 27 points between the two.
Arai said, despite the frustrating period, he has a lot of respect for how the drivers have handled the situation.
"I have much respect for Fernando and Jenson," said Arai. "We have so many new things on the car, it's not just the engine. Every race there's something new and they have to test it.
"But they are very patient and professional about it during all the year, so I have much respect for them.
"They understand why we're trying to do it, why we need to do it in order to progress."
Humour helping the team
Arai says that the sense of humour Alonso and Button have displayed amid their struggles has actually helped the team's atmosphere.
The duo famously climbed onto the podium at Interlagos after qualifying and shared a photo of themselves.
"Obviously Fernando is in a frustrating situation and we think that he himself has frustration with him, but that the two of them to show that kind of humour helps the team," Arai added.
"For everyone in the garage and in the team I think it's makes better to have that kind of humour.
"I have much respect in the regard that they have that kind of mentality, that professionalism. To use that humour helps the rest of the team, so I respect that."
Interview by Federico Faturos