Honda: Frustration doesn't mean divorce
17 June 2017 – Yusuke Hasegawa insists that frustration-filled comments issued by either McLaren or Honda in the midst of a difficult campaign does not necessarily mean that a divorce is on the cards.
McLaren-Honda, in the third year of its reunion, has endured a troubled opening seven rounds, amid a lack of reliability and performance, with the operation yet to score a point.
McLaren was linked with a return to Mercedes power for 2018 earlier in the year before Zak Brown emphasised that it was committed to Honda.
However, McLaren has ramped up the rhetoric in recent weeks, claiming it has "serious concerns" over the manufacturer, and has formed a "Plan B and Plan C" for 2018.
Following Fernando Alonso's late retirement in Canada, which removed him from a points-paying position, Brown commented that McLaren has to be "proactive" regarding the future.
Honda F1 chief Hasegawa, though, does not believe the message given out by McLaren has altered since the problems arose during pre-season.
"I don't think it [the attitude] has changed since the winter Barcelona test," Hasegawa told Racer.
"They are all still frustrated, and of course we are frustrated as well, so Zak's comments are very understandable.
"We are frustrated and we are disappointed, so it's no wonder if they comment about something like that.
"Of course, good results will cheer the team up, but even in a difficult situation we have a very strong connection.
"We are frustrated, but feeling frustration in the race does not directly mean 'they want to divorce' nor 'ending the contract'.
"The frustration in the race and the decision making for the relationship are totally different matters."
Honda, which returned to Formula 1 in 2015, will also supply Sauber with power units next year.