Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa acknowledges that supplying an extra team on the grand prix grid would be good in terms of data capture and extra mileage, but at the same time admits that they are not ready to supply an extra team right now.
Much has been written about the hardships McLaren are facing ahead of the new season largely thanks to an under-performing power unit.
In Spain the Honda powered MCL32 struggled and mileage was severely limited to a mere 425 laps over the eight days. That compares to 1865 laps covered by Renault powered teams – a massive discrepancy in data acquired to help solve problems and understanding of their respective packages.
Asked by Racer if an additional team would help Honda’s quest to develop a competitive power unit, Hasegawa replied, “Yeah, I think so. If we had more samples it is better. But to do that we need more resources in terms of engineers and currently we are not ready for that, but maybe we need to be ready.”
As for the current ‘crisis’ that is afflicting McLaren-Honda and criticism from their star driver Fernando Alonso, Hasegawa responded, “The top teams delivered a [high] level and last year we started [low] and we were improving.”
“The ratio was very positive, but because we have changed the concept perhaps we [have leveled out for a while] and still we have a lot more room to catch up. But of course Fernando expects it like this [rapid improvement] and we should be. So we have to show our good performance, not just with words. That’s more important.”
Heading to Melbourne for the season opening Australian Grand Prix, Hasegawa said, “In terms of performance, there has been room for improvement with mapping in order to have better driveability, and with further analysis we were able to make additional changes to be ready for Melbourne.”
“We know we are heading in the right direction and we’ll continue our efforts in order to increase our competitiveness throughout the season,” added Hasegawa.
Big Question: Is supplying just one F1 team the right thing for Honda?