Baku - Fernando Alonso wants the McLaren Honda team to continue developing their current car and not shift the focus of their work to 2017.
The two-time world champion from Spain said on Thursday that he understands the temptation to switch focus, but urged McLaren to keep working for progress this year.
Several teams are considering how best to split their resources ahead of the rule changes and faster cars to be introduced next year.
"Obviously, we want to be fighting for the world championship and we are not in that position this year," said Alonso.
"But we are making progress and moving in the right direction to achieve that goal in the future. There is still a long way to go.
"We need to think on next year's car and next year's product and put some focus there to try to be more competitive next year, but at the same time we cannot forget 2016 yet.
"We are still in June and there are possibilities to go higher in the constructors' championship.
"Some of the progress with the updates that we can bring this year will be useful for next year especially on the power unit side.
"We are still working on both projects and motivated to score many points this year."