McLaren Frustration does not mean Honda divorce – Hasegawa

Yusuke Hasegawa believes Honda could still partner McLaren beyond 2017 despite a frustrating start to the season - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Yusuke Hasegawa believes that Zak Brown’s comments about the McLaren F1 Team being frustrated with the performance and reliability of the Honda power unit does not mean that the two parties are heading for a break in contract.

Brown has been outspoken in recent weeks after finding the Honda power unit both underpowered and unreliable in 2017, with neither Fernando Alonso or Stoffel Vandoorne managing to break into the points in the opening seven races, and Hasegawa, Head of Honda’s F1 project, admits there is also frustration coming from the engine side as well.

“I don’t think it has changed since the winter Barcelona test,” said Hasegawa to RACER of the relationship between McLaren and Honda. “They are all still frustrated, and of course we are frustrated as well. So Zak’s comments are very understandable. We are frustrated and we are disappointed, so it’s no wonder if they comment about something like that.

“Of course good results will cheer the team up, but even in a difficult situation we have a very strong connection. But even so it is very difficult to keep [the team together].

“We are frustrated, but feeling frustration in the race does not directly mean ‘they want to divorce’ nor ‘ending the contract’. The frustration in the race and the decision making for the relationship are totally different matters.”