Honda Head of F1 Project Yusuke Hasegawa says that despite a difficult weekend at the first round of the season in Australia, the Japanese manufacturer was able to gather some useful data on the Honda power unit, which will hopefully help them to improve the performance of the MCL32 going forward.
“Although the season opener in Australia was a tough race weekend for us, it allowed us to judge our current position on track. There were both positives and negatives to take away.
“We were able to confirm certain reliabilities on our power unit, but we also know that we still have room for improvement when it comes to performance.”
Hasegawa is expecting another challenging weekend for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, as the characteristics of the Shanghai International Circuit really do not play to the strengths of the MCL32 package.
“We expect the Chinese Grand Prix to be even more challenging. The race is always a bit of an unknown due to the changeable weather conditions, which affects the set-up and balance of the car.
“The track itself also places a lot of stress on the power unit with its slow and medium-speed corners, and two very long straights. The key will be preparation and set-up.”
Ensuring reliability in the early part of the race weekend will be essential for allowing drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne to gain valuable track time, in order to achieve the best set up and maximise their potential on race day, and that will be Honda’s focus throughout their time in China.
“Once again we will work together with McLaren to ensure we do our best and extract the most from our package.
“It’s important we gather as much information as possible. It’s a long season and we are looking for progress at every race.”