Formula 1

Honda’s Yusuke Hasegawa: “An incredibly frustrating day for everybody”

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Credit: Steven Tee/McLaren

Yusuke Hasegawa says Honda will go back to their Sakura base in Japan in order to sort the MGU-H issues that affected the United States Grand Prix for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team.

Stoffel Vandoorne was the first to experience the trouble early in the weekend, while a further engine change on Sunday morning leaving him starting from the back of the grid, while Fernando Alonso’s race was ended with a MGU-H problem whilst on course for a strong seventh place finish.

Hasegawa, the Head of Honda’s F1 Project and Executive Chief Engineer, admitted it was a frustrating end to a tough weekend for everyone at McLaren and Honda, but they hope a fix can be found ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix this weekend.

“Today was an incredibly frustrating day for everybody in the team,” admitted Hasegawa. “We came to the United States Grand Prix with high hopes of being able to score some much-needed points, and unfortunately reliability issues across both cars cost us a top-ten finish.

“This morning we detected an issue with Stoffel’s MGU-H and made the decision to switch his power unit. This meant he started the race from the back of grid, giving him a tough task for the afternoon. Despite this, Stoffel drove an excellent race today. He overtook cars on track and maintained a good pace throughout. It was unfortunate he couldn’t quite score a point to reward his efforts.

“Fernando started today from eighth on the grid and was up into seventh at the start. He maintained his position and kept his rivals behind him, until his race came to a premature end because of an MGU-H issue.

“It’s very disappointing that we faced more issues with our PU – particularly because the reliability has been relatively stable in recent races. We will immediately investigate the issue with the Sakura team and work towards a countermeasure for Mexico next weekend.”

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