Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa: “We’re hoping to have a good race here”

Reliability issues have heavily affected McLaren Honda's 2017 season so far - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Images

Honda boss Yusuke Hasegawa hopes the reliability issues that have blighted the opening four races of the 2017 Formula 1 Season do not resurface this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, especially in front of Fernando Alonso’s home fans.

Out of a possible eight finishes in 2017, the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team have only seen the chequered flag twice, both for Stoffel Vandoorne in Australia and Russia respectively, while the past two races have seen one of the MCL32’s failing even to start, Vandoorne in Bahrain and Alonso in Russia two weeks ago, but Hasagawa hopes the improvements being made to the engine means this problems should disappear and the team should become a more competitive outfit.

“After wrapping up the first of this seasons fly-away races, we’re now heading to Spain to kick off the European rounds of the championship,” said Hasegawa. “The first few races have been challenging for us, with a number of reliability issues plaguing our running. We’re continuing to work hard as a team to improve both the reliability and the performance of our power unit moving forward.

“The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a technical circuit with a mixture of various types of corners. Its character is different to that of the first four races, which were typically power circuits and it’ll be less strenuous on the power unit. The most important focus for us in Spain will be the total balance of the car, therefore we’ll aim to maximise our time in each practice session to work out the best balance of the car with McLaren.

“We’re hoping to have a good race here and build some momentum for the coming races. It’s also Fernando’s home race, so we want to give him the best package possible in front of his home crowd.”