Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa: “We’re going through a difficult time at the moment”


Yusuke Hasegawa is expecting another tough weekend for the McLaren / Honda partnership in Azerbaijan - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Yusuke Hasegawa admits this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix is likely to be another difficult one for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, with the power-hungry Baku Street Circuit likely to hurt the under-performing Honda power unit.

McLaren are the only team on the grid yet to score a point in 2017, going through the opening seven races with a best finish of twelfth for Fernando Alonso coming in the Spanish Grand Prix, but Hasegawa, Honda’s Executive Chief Engineer and the current Head of the F1 Project, insists developments are still ongoing as they strive to improve.

However, Azerbaijan will come too soon for those developments, and as such both Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne are set for another tough weekend.

“This season will mark just our second visit to Baku, and after a disappointing end to our Canadian Grand Prix weekend we’re looking forward to moving on to the Azerbaijan capital,” said Hasegawa.

“The race is not back-to-back this year so we’re fortunate to have extra time back at the factory to analyse and understand the data collected in Canada. However, we’re under no illusions that this weekend will be straightforward for us – Baku City Circuit has one of the longest straights of any Formula 1 track at over 2km (1.243 miles) and is a notoriously power-hungry circuit. I think we can expect another tough challenge for the team.

“We’re going through a difficult time at the moment, but we’re doing all that we can to rectify the situation. We must continue to concentrate on development as one team with McLaren and turn things around as soon as we can.”