Yusuke Hasegawa revealed that the tactic for Qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix was executed to perfection, with both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne advancing through to Q2.
Both of the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team drivers will start at the back of the grid due to penalties for unscheduled engine changes, but Hasegawa, the Head of Honda’s F1 project, said there was a lot of pace and performance in the car on Saturday.
“With penalties for both drivers in tomorrow’s race, today was all about focusing on set-up rather than grid positions,” said Hasegawa. “To give us a free choice of tyres for the start of the race, our qualifying strategy was to push for Q2 and end the session there.
“Both of the cars reached Q2, and we’re happy that we reached our goal with more performance still left in the car.”
Hasegawa admitted there was worries that the Honda power unit would have issues this weekend due to the high altitude of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but those fears have not been realised, and there has been some truly competitiveness on track.
“In terms of the power unit, we had a smooth day without any issues,” said Hasegawa. “Coming to Mexico we expected to have limited power due to the high altitude, but I’m pleased to say the effect is much less than anticipated.
“I appreciate the efforts made by our colleagues back in the factory who have simulated various methods and found an effective way to minimise the power loss in the tough conditions.
“Although we have both cars starting from the back of the grid tomorrow, we will push to do our best and aim for some points.”