Honda eyes positive end to McLaren chapter
22 November 2017 – Honda says it hopes to cap its three-year relationship with McLaren on a positive note at this weekend's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Honda returned to Formula 1 as McLaren's power unit partner in 2015, but has struggled for reliability and performance, limiting the operation to a best race result of fifth.
Honda revised its power unit layout for greater long-term potential in 2017 but after a spate of setbacks, McLaren opted to sever its partnership and link up with Renault for 2018.
The Japanese manufacturer, meanwhile, will move across to become Toro Rosso's exclusive partner.
McLaren has scored 28 points this season, and Honda is optimistic that it can end the campaign – and its collaboration with the Woking-based outfit – on a positive note.
"The weekend is significant as it is our final race as McLaren-Honda," said Yusuke Hasegawa, head of Honda's F1 project.
"Despite this, everyone will be fully focussed on extracting the full potential from our package and continuing the momentum we have built over the last few races.
"I am incredibly proud of how hard everyone in the team has worked this 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."
Hasegawa also explained the demands placed upon the power unit by Yas Marina, commenting: "It 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."