Formula 1

Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa: “This weekend ended on a frustrating note”

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Stoffel Vandoorne finished less than four-seconds away from a first top ten finish of 2017 at Silverstone - Credit: Sutton/McLaren

Yusuke Hasegawa admitted that seeing Stoffel Vandoorne finish just outside the points in the British Grand Prix was frustrating, especially as the Belgian had run inside the top ten for much of the afternoon at Silverstone on Sunday.

A slow pit stop saw Vandoorne drop behind Felipe Massa, meaning that the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer was denied his first points of 2017, but Honda boss Hasegawa was encouraged that the pace was their that the team were able to fight with both the Sahara Force India F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing at Silverstone.

“This weekend ended on a frustrating note as Stoffel just missed out on a world championship point at our home race,” said Hasegawa. “Up until today, things had been looking up and we had been showing some encouraging pace.

“Stoffel started his race from a good position and he showed competitive pace in the midfield throughout the race. He pushed as hard as possible so therefore it was disappointing that he finished 11th, just outside of the points.”

Hasegawa revealed that Honda will investigate the cause of the fuel pump problem that forced Fernando Alonso to retire from the race, although he was happy with the progress the Spaniard had made in the early stages of the race after starting at the very back of the field.

“Although Fernando had to start from the back of the grid, he improved his position during the first part of the race, and was close to Stoffel,” said Hasegawa.

“Sadly, he had a fuel system-related issue and had to retire from the race. We’re now investigating the cause.”

Despite failing to add to their points tally at Silverstone, Hasegawa feels that there was some positive things to take away from the event, with the team showing themselves to be much more competitive than in recent races, and he says that the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of the month should suit them even more.

“I still think we leave Silverstone with some positivity,” said Hasegawa. “We had improved pace and our competitiveness has also improved over the past few races.

“Next up is Hungary, which is a track that suits our package better, so I hope we can have a good race. We’ll continue our best efforts towards scoring some points at the next round.”

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