• Honda Terminates F1 Engine Chief, Role Tasks Split

    Published: Sunday, 10 December 2017
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    Honda’s recent times in Formula 1 having been trying to say the least, with many an engine failure-related retirement a definite sore point for the Japanese carmaker’s collaboration with McLaren.

    With the Woking-based F1 team leaving the partnership a year early, Honda has called for a change of the engine guard before it switches to supplying engines to Toro Rosso next year, with Yasuke Hasegawa having been in charge until this point.

    Hasegawa has been relieved from his post as Head of Formula 1 Project which oversees two roles: to supervise powertrain development at Honda’s research and development facility in Japan, and to direct track-side operations at races and test sessions globally.

    The role of technical operations now falls to Toyoharu Tanabe, who is currently senior manager at Honda Performance Development in the United States. Tanabe’s time with Honda started in 1984, having worked in Formula 1 alongside Gerhard Berger at McLaren and Jenson Button during the BAR-Honda era, as well as in the IndyCars series.

    As for leading the powertrain development back at base in Sakura, Japan, a replacement for the role has not been officially named; however, this will apparently go to Yasuaki Asaki, previously chief of N series kei cars at Honda, according to Autosport. The changes are set to take effect on January 1.

    Meanwhile, McLaren will be hoping for better fortunes and ultimately results, with the change to Renault power units next year. - Paultan

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