Motorsport Week  |    |   1  |  7 December 2017

Yusuke Hasegawa replaced in Honda Formula 1 reshuffle

Honda will implement a new management structure for its Formula 1 programme in 2018, with current project leader Yusuke Hasegawa moved to a different role at the organisation.

Hasegawa was appointed to the role of Head of F1 Project at the start of 2016, replacing Yasuhisa Arai, as Honda sought to turn around its fortunes after a dismal 2015 campaign.

McLaren-Honda made gains through 2016, improving from ninth to sixth overall, but the Japanese marque opted to revise its power unit concept for 2017, believing its new approach to hold greater long-term potential.

However, it was beset by early reliability and performance issues, ultimately prompting McLaren to ditch Honda for 2018 in favour of Renault, having slumped to ninth in the standings once more.

Honda, meanwhile, will remain in Formula 1 as power unit partner to Toro Rosso.

Honda announced on Thursday that Hasegawa’s current role will be split into two, creating the new roles of F1 Technical Director and Operating Officer.

Toyoharu Tanabe, a former engineer for Gerhard Berger and Jenson Button, will take up the role of F1 Technical Director, while the company has not yet named its Operating Officer.

Hasegawa, meanwhile, will remain with Honda in a role away from its Formula 1 programme; the amended management structure will come into place at the start of January.

“In the past, the Head of F1 Project assumed responsibility in both technological development and directing the team at the spot of racing,” said Katsuhide Moriyama, Honda’s Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations.

“By separating these areas of responsibility, we will evolve our structure so that both the development team and racing/testing team can assume their respective responsibilities more speedily.

“By ensuring both the development team and racing team soundly fulfil their respective roles, Honda will continue its challenges so that fans can enjoy seeing Toro Rosso-Honda competing at the top level without further delay. Thank you for your continuous support.”

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