Honda chief motorsport officer Yasuhisa Arai has brushed off suggestions that he should apologise to Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button for wasting a year of their careers.
The Honda-powered McLaren's endured another qualifying session to forget on Saturday, with both drivers failing to make it out of Q1 ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. Button will start from 16th on the grid, with Alonso in 17th, bettering only the two Manor cars and Max Verstappen who did not set a time.
Sitting alongside Button and Alonso at a post-qualifying press conference, Arai initially did not directly answer a question asking if he should apologise to the drivers, stating: "I always speak with both drivers."
When pressed further on the issue of an apology, he delivered a slightly bemused "Why? Why?"
Arai was then asked if he was embarrassed by Honda's performance, and he insisted that Honda are taking positive steps.
"We are [heading in] a good direction, but you know the results are not so good," he said.
"But I hope to do our best for the remainder of the season.
"We put in a lot of effort to get more horsepower and control for the champion drivers, but unfortunately with ICE [combustion engine] horsepower and MGU-K deployment, this circuit is very difficult for our power unit."
Arai added that there was reason to be positive going forward, with Honda already making strides ahead of the 2016 season.
"We already found out what the weak point of our power unit is so we have already started next season's development," he explained.