Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa: “We cannot stay in our current position”

Fernando Alonso retired in Canada with just two laps to go whilst running tenth - Credit: Andy Hone/LAT Images

Yusuke Hasegawa was downbeat after another Honda power unit failure denied the McLaren Formula 1 Team their first point of the 2017 season, just two laps from the end of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso was running tenth and on course for a point only for a oil pressure problem on his power unit to force him to stop on the run down to turn eight, and Honda Executive Chief Engineer Hasegawa says they will need to look into the reasons why the power unit suffered the failure.

“Today was especially disappointing as Fernando was on course to score our first point of the 2017 season,” said Hasegawa.   “Of course, it is not our aim to score the occasional point, but it would have at least been a step forward and a reward for all of the team’s hard work these past few races.

“After avoiding the first-lap incident, Fernando managed his race well and had consistent pace throughout. The team also did a great job with the strategy keeping him ahead of his closest rivals. Unfortunately, with just a couple of laps remaining, Fernando’s PU lost oil pressure due to a mechanical issue.

“We won’t know the exact cause until we get the power unit back to Sakura for a full investigation.”

Hasegawa felt Stoffel Vandoorne in the second McLaren had a positive race despite missing out on points in fourteenth, but the performance gap between them and their rivals need addressing sooner rather than later.

“Stoffel had a great start to his race, but lost out during the Safety Car periods,” said Hasegawa. “Despite this, it was a step in the right direction for him today, and positive that he finished the race.

“There is still a gap between us and our competitors, and we must continue to improve our reliability. We cannot stay in our current position and we will maintain our tireless development in order to close the gap.”