Honda has no plans to remove Hasegawa

Honda has no plans to remove Hasegawa
By AutoSport

20/06/2017 at 10:22

Honda currently has no plans to change motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa's position despite its poor performance and reliability during the 2017 Formula 1 season.

The most recent grand prix in Canada was a difficult weekend for the McLaren-Honda partnership as McLaren executive director Zak Brown strongly criticised the team's engine partner.

Honda defended itself, but then struggled on track with the team losing what would have been its first point of the season when Fernando Alonso's engine failed with three laps to go.

Racing director Eric Boullier called that "absolutely not good enough" as McLaren continued its public attack.

Hasegawa, who has previously worked in F1 with the BAR-Honda project, took over from Yasuhisa Arai ahead of Honda's second season back in 2016, with the manufacturer showing improved performance and reliability compared to 2015.

But much of that improvement is believed to be down to the groundwork Arai had put in before vacating his role and this year's campaign has seen a return to 2015.

This has led to questions about Hasegawa's future in the role, but a source believes Honda is not considering moving Hasegawa from his current position, a little over two years after he took over.

When asked about his future, Hasegawa told Autosport: "I do not decide my future. If someone wants to change my position, I have to obey that.

"From Honda's point of view, nobody is thinking about changing my position.

"The focus is on the job and making progress. As long as I am here, I am going to do my best."

He added: "We are not satisfied with the current performance.

"We are trying very hard, but as a consequence we are not satisfied - we are very frustrated and we are disappointed.

"Maybe there is someone who can lead this programme better.

"If he is here, I am not very happy, but OK, I have to change the positions."

Over the Canadian GP weekend, F1 sporting chief Ross Brawn told the BBC the championship values Honda and "if we can do anything to support their efforts to improve for the future we will do that."

Following those comments, Hasegawa spoke to Brawn.

"He said I'm happy to support Honda if you have a request," said Hasegawa.

"We have to ask him for support. I very much appreciate the offer.

"We will continue to talk to him. I'm sure he'll support us."

When asked if Brawn said he wanted Honda to stay in F1, Hasegawa said: "He didn't comment about that but I feel naturally he is thinking about that, that he wants Honda to stay, that's why he has offered support."