Despite three retirements out of a possible four in the past two races for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, Yusuke Hasegawa says there were positives to take away from both the Belgian and Italian Grand Prix, with the pace in the last race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza exceeding expectations.
Stoffel Vandoorne had made his way into the top ten in Italy despite having been hindered by a post-qualifying grid penalty for an engine change, only for the problem to reappear again on race day to end his afternoon, but Hasegawa was pleased that the team appeared to have strong pace compared to their midfield rivals.
Hasegawa, the head of Honda’s F1 Project, says the Marina Bay Street Circuit should offer opportunities to score points for both Vandoorne and team-mate Fernando Alonso, much like the Hungarian Grand Prix did at the end of July.
“We had a disappointing result last time out at the Italian Grand Prix, however, it was still positive that we had good pace on such a power-hungry track,” said Hasegawa.
“In stark contrast to the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with so many tight, slow corners, the Marina Bay Street Circuit is less reliant on outright power and plays more to our strengths as we saw at the Hungarian Grand Prix earlier this season.
“The car’s overall balance between power unit and chassis will be the key to a good weekend, so our engineers are hard at work preparing the ideal set-up. Hopefully we can provide the drivers with a good package so they can be in the hunt for much-needed points.”