Yusuke Hasegawa: “The Russian Grand Prix will be another challenging race weekend”

Credit: Steven Tee/McLaren

Yusuke Hasegawa is hopeful that some of McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team’s reliability issues have been rectified after a successful second day of testing in Bahrain.

The two-day testing session followed what had been a disappointing and difficult weekend in the desert for the Woking-based outfit.

The Honda chief engineer is confident that they are going in the right direction.

After a disappointing grand prix weekend in Bahrain, we have since had an extremely busy few days during in-season testing, also at the Bahrain International Circuit,” he said. “The team has been working hard to implement some countermeasures to help combat our MGU-H issues. 

 “By the second day of testing, we think we were able to confirm the direction of our solution against the issue after completing 81 laps with Stoffel behind the wheel. The results are testament to the team’s hard work and determination.

2017 has so far proven dire, with at least one car failing to finish each race. However, Sochi was a fruitful weekend for the team last season and they will be trying to emulate that success this time around.

But a points finish is doubtful as the Russian Grand Prix makes use of flat-out pace, which the Honda engine is currently lacking.

The 2016 Russian Grand Prix saw McLaren-Honda finish the race with two cars in the points, so of course we will do our best to try and replicate this,” he continued.

That said, I expected the Russian Grand Prix will be another challenging race weekend for us. “

Honda and McLaren are at least well versed in strategy, and will continue to fight even if they are still a way off their ideal position.

The nature of the track, with its long straights combined with 90-degree corners, means the race will be stop-start, putting emphasis on the balance of energy management,” he added. “Unlocking power and managing fuel will also be key.

“We will of course work hard with McLaren during the practice sessions in order to find the best set-up, and we are hoping to show a good performance.”