Honda Chief Engineer, Yusuke Hasegawa felt that the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team achieved their best qualifying result of the season so far for the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso securing seventh, and Stoffel Vandoorne eighth.
The driver pairing benefited from the McLaren’s strong chassis around the twisty Hungaroring circuit, that also allows their power deficit to be a diminished issue throughout the course of the race. Both cars reached Q3 for the second time this year, but it was the first time that both completed it, as Vandoorne crashed before being able to take part in Monaco.
“Today marked the best qualifying for McLaren Honda this season, with both cars into Q3, starting tomorrow’s race just behind the top three teams,” said Hasegawa. “Although we knew this circuit would suit our car, it’s still a positive step forward for us, and the team did a good job with our qualifying strategy.”
“Fernando and Stoffel had a good impression of the car yesterday and the team utilised this morning’s practice session by further working on the set-up ahead of qualifying. They both then drove incredibly well this afternoon to close up to the front-runners.”
Hasegawa also attributes the improved performance to improvements to the Honda power unit, that has plagued the team with issues over the last three seasons.
“Today’s result is down to the drivers, improvements to our PU, and also the aero upgrades the team has brought here. Hopefully this will give everyone a boost before the summer break and before the second half of the season begins.
“We know there is still a performance gap, but we also think we’re quite competitive here. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to improve our positions in the race if we have a good start as overtaking is difficult here. We hope to get our best race of the season here in Hungary tomorrow.”