Hasegawa says Honda position safe despite problematic 2017 – for now

Yusuke Hasegawa feels his Honda position is safe despite a lack of results for McLaren in 2017 - Credit: Charles Coates/McLaren

Yusuke Hasegawa says his position as the Head of Honda’s F1 Project is currently secure despite the lacklustre start to the 2017 Formula 1 season that has seen the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team fail to score any points in the opening seven races.

There has been a lot of pressure applied to everyone within Honda due to the failings they have had this season, with technical issues and a distinct lack of competitiveness, with Fernando Alonso’s twelfth place in the Spanish Grand Prix the best result so far.

Both Zak Brown and Eric Boullier have been very outspoken in recent weeks about the Honda project, especially with a planned upgrade being delayed, while the Canadian Grand Prix saw yet more disappointment when Alonso retired with just two laps remaining whilst running inside the top ten.

Hasegawa admits there is pressure on him to improve the situation, and he also acknowledges that if someone better comes along to lead the project, he would reluctantly have to step aside from the role he took on back at the beginning of 2016 from predecessor Yasuhisa Arai.

“I do not decide my future,” said Hasegawa to Autosport. “If someone wants to change my position, I have to obey that. From Honda’s point of view, nobody is thinking about changing my position.

“The focus is on the job and making progress. As long as I am here, I am going to do my best.

“We are not satisfied with the current performance. We are trying very hard, but as a consequence we are not satisfied – we are very frustrated and we are disappointed.

“Maybe there is someone who can lead this programme better. If he is here, I am not very happy, but OK, I have to change the positions.”