Honda Head of F1 Project Yusuke Hasegawa has said the Japanese manufacturer will be fully concentrated on putting in a strong performance at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, despite it being the very last race for the McLaren Honda partnership.
It has been a tough three seasons for the legendary collaboration, as what promised to be a partnership made in heaven sadly fell way short of the mark. Reliability woes plagued them for the majority of the season, and the Japanese manufacturer struggled to get on top of the issues until recently.
Nevertheless, Hasegawa says they will not just throw in the towel now that the final race is here, and everyone will pull together in Abu Dhabi to close off their time together on a positive note.
“With the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, we mark the end of a long and challenging 2017 Formula 1 season.
“The weekend is also significant as it is our final race as McLaren Honda. Despite this, everyone will be fully focused on extracting the full potential from our package and continuing the momentum we have built over the last few races.”
The Japanese engineer describes the Yas Marina Circuit as a challenging track, with good strategy, fuel management, and power being key to a good race. The latter means it will be a tricky race for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, but they will push to find the performance they need to succeed here.
“Yas Marina is a unique track with a traditional racetrack and street-like circuit combined into one. This makes it challenging for the engineers to find the perfect set-up as each sector is very different, from low-speed 90-degree corners to full-throttle straights. Unlocking power and managing fuel will also be key.”
Hasegawa would like to bring home a strong result in Abu Dhabi, to wrap up the McLaren Honda project on a high, and to give something back to the fans, who have continued to support them through the toughest of times.
“Finally, I am incredibly proud of how hard everyone in the team has worked this season. I hope that we can end the year on a high, not just for them, but also for the McLaren Honda fans around the world that have supported us during the last three seasons.”