Fernando Alonso insists a painful 2015 season was a necessary step in his career to regain his motivation to fight for the F1 title again.
The Spanish driver joined McLaren-Honda after five years at Ferrari, but the two-time champion has endured a very difficult season as the package proved slow and unreliable.
With one race to go, Alonso is 16th in the standings with just 11 points, having finished in the top 10 twice in 18 races.
While Alonso admits the season has been frustrating, he reckons the move to McLaren was justified as he needed a new motivation.
And he insisted he still believes in the project despite the poor year.
"It was a tough year," said Alonso. "Obviously difficult and struggling with the pace all year and then reliability, so definitely a difficult season for us.
"But personally I think it was necessary, a step forward in my career after two championships and after five fantastic seasons fighting for the world championship but fighting for second.
"I needed some new motivation and new project I could trust and believe. It is the only way to become champion again and after one difficult season I learned so much.
"I enjoy working with McLaren, with Honda, and the Japanese discipline and culture in the team.
"I still remain very positive and very, very happy, and looking forward to next year being easier than this one, but it was difficult this one in terms of results," added the Spaniard.
2016 impossible to predict
Despite his faith in the McLaren-Honda project, Alonso admits it is impossible to tell what the team will be able to achieve next season.
"I think for 2016 the main goal for the team is to come back to where we belong, being competitive, fighting for the top positions," he said.
"I don't know if that means fighting for world championships, I don't know if it means fighting for victories or just being on podiums.
"It is always difficult to know in the complex world of F1. We have big challenges ahead in the winter, and I see all the things we have done in the last couple of months.
"It seems logical and positive, I am sure, of a different season next year and I am happy with the focus."
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