Honda 'needed' change of teams - Hasegawa

Honda 'needed' change of teams - Hasegawa

30 November 2017 – Honda boss Yusuke Hasegawa believes the company "needed" to switch to new surroundings in 2018, and has "no regrets" over moving to a new power unit concept this year.

Honda, following three years with McLaren, which were characterised by a lack of reliability and performance, will link up with Toro Rosso next season.

Hasegawa believes that Honda will be able to profit from operating in a different environment, reckoning the change should assist it in understanding where it can improve.

"A new challenge and making new relationships with people is always exciting," said Hasegawa in an interview with Honda's official website.

"From an experience point of view, for this era of Honda, it will be the first time we have changed team and we'll get a better understanding of what a normal situation is.

"We only know things as the McLaren-Honda way, but this will be another opportunity to expand our understanding and experience of a different way of working.

"I think we needed the change.

"From a technical point of view it's good for us to know more about other things, like new cooling situations or how the top speed of a different car design is affected by drag.

"It is very important to understand what the standard is."

McLaren's split with Honda was prompted by the manufacturer struggling during the first half of the campaign, having overhauled its power unit design, in a bid for greater long-term potential.

Hasegawa insists Honda has "no regrets" in revising its approach, resulting in short-term pain in 2017, and its eventual divorce from McLaren.

"Although we showed some decent performance last year we knew it wasn't good enough to break into the top three, so we needed to change the engine concept," he explained.

"There is no doubt that this was the right direction but we just couldn't complete the package in time for the start of the 2017 season.

"That meant we had to solve many issues at the Grands Prix instead, but unless we tried those modifications there was no chance of going forward in the longer term.

"So that's why we decided to change. I have no regrets in taking that decision."

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