Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa: “We felt we were in a strong position to score points”

Yusuke Hasegawa - Honda. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Honda Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer Yusuke Hasegawa felt the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team were on target to score some good points at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, had it not been for the bad luck they encountered.

The Japanese manufacturer were happy with the performance and progress made across the weekend, so it was extremely frustrating to not be able to capitalise on that, with a retirement for Fernando Alonso on the first lap, and a finish outside the top ten for team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

“After a positive start to our Austrian Grand Prix weekend, I’m very disappointed with the outcome of the race today.

“Despite having some issues, the atmosphere within the team has been much more positive this weekend, and we felt we were in a strong position to score points. Both drivers qualified well and were starting the race from competitive positions, and we were happy with our set-up.

“Fernando had an incredible start and made up a number of positions off the line, but was forced into an early retirement after being caught up in an incident at Turn One.

“I think Stoffel had the pace to score his first points of the season today and looked comfortable in the car, but he fought with traffic for most of the afternoon and was unable to gain positions.”

Despite the result, Hasegawa felt the MCL32 showed good pace in Austria, and he is hoping the team can replicate that performance at the British Grand Prix next weekend.

“We will soon be heading back to the UK for our first home grand prix of the season. It’s one of the highlights of the year, and we are looking forward to this special weekend. We expect to have many fans, colleagues and family there, so we hope that we can show them a good race.”