Honda F1 boss Hasegawa leaves role in reshuffle

Mindy Sparks
December 8, 2017

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.

After a hard three-season relationship with Honda, McLaren in September negotiated a release from its contract, with the team signing up to field Renault engines for 2018.

Despite their wretched results back in tandem with McLaren, Honda have continued to insist they are determined to achieve success in F1 and decided against walking away from the sport by teaming up with Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso.

Toyoharu Tanabe, who joined Honda in 1984, has been installed as technical director and has past F1 experience after being an engineer to Gerhard Berger at McLaren in the early 1990s and then Jenson Button at BAR/Honda in the mid-2000s.

"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, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Honda's Formula One division is getting rid of its top role for next year and splitting it into two, because the pressure of overseeing the worst engine in F1 is far too much for one poor soul.

The overall F1 boss will be Yasuaki Asaki, whose role is to head development at Honda's F1 base in Sakura, Japan, with Tanabe leading the team at the track. Now employed as a senior manager at Honda Performance Development in the US, Tanabe has been with Honda since 1984, working in F1 alongside the likes of Gerhard Berger (at McLaren) and Jenson Button (at BAR-Honda) as well as in IndyCars. In anticipation of that, Honda has split Hasegawa's previous role as head of the F1 project - which put him in charge of both engine development in Sakura and the whole race operation - into new jobs.

Hasegawa took over from Yasuhisa Arai after the disastrous first year of Honda's partnership with McLaren in 2015, but failed to help improve the Japanese manufacturer's fortunes in 2016 or 2017.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article