Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa: “We still think we have chance to recover the situation”

Yusuke Hasegawa still feels McLaren and Honda can have a good weekend despite more engine troubles on Friday - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Honda are investigating the reasons to why Fernando Alonso’s opening free practice session ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix was curtailed after just three corners on Friday.

Honda Executive Chief Engineer Yusuke Hasegawa said that it was unexpected for Alonso to have such a drastic engine issue so soon into the practice session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with an engine change necessitated in between sessions as a result.

“Today was unfortunately a tough day for Fernando at his home grand prix,” said Hasegawa.  “Shortly after exiting the garage in FP1 a mechanical issue caused an oil leak forcing him to stop out on track.

We opted to change the PU before the start of FP2, and we are still investigating the root cause of the problem. The team worked incredibly hard to get him back out on track and maximise data collection for tomorrow’s FP3 and qualifying.”

Hasegawa was pleased however that Stoffel Vandoorne was able to complete a good number of laps in the second MCL32, and with that data and some hard work from the engineers overnight, there are still positives that can be taken away from the weekend in Spain.

“On the other side of the garage, Stoffel completed 60 laps, and we were able to run through his programme without any problems, which included confirming the effectiveness of the small update installed this weekend, and I think it worked well to improve his performance,” said Hasegawa.

“Despite having a disappointing day today, we still think we have chance to recover the situation in the coming qualifying and race. Our team will have to make another hard effort tonight to send our drivers back on track for tomorrow’s sessions with the best settings, and we hope to have a better day.”