Yusuke Hasegawa believes the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team can be proud of what they have achieved this season after a vastly improved 2016 compared to 2015, although there were moments that offered a huge challenge to the partnership.
The Head of the Honda F1 Project saw Fernando Alonso end the season with a top ten finish in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which was a good result for the Spaniard, but Hasegawa was disappointed to see Jenson Button retire from the race due to an early suspension failure.
“First of all, I would like to thank each and every one of the McLaren-Honda team members for a job well done throughout the long 2016 F1 season,” said Hasegawa. “I am very proud of the achievements we have made together, in what has been another challenging year.
“The Abu Dhabi GP was bittersweet in that Jenson had to retire early on, but he drove a good race and fought well for the short time he had on track, which was what he was hoping to do.
“Fernando drove superbly, showing his fighting spirit to push hard until the chequered flag. It was a difficult race, so I am glad we were able to finish with a championship point, so in that aspect I am happy for the team.”
Hasegawa insists everyone is now turning their focus to 2017, and hopes Honda can continue their development to ensure McLaren are competitive next year when Alonso is joined by Stoffel Vandoorne in the driver line-up.
“From tomorrow onwards, we push our development for 2017 to full power, and hope to step up our game over the winter months,” said Hasegawa.
“Last but not least, thank you Jenson for being our friend, colleague and hero driver. It will be very sad not to see you at every race next year, but my bet is that you will miss us too much, and we will see you again very soon!”