Honda Restructures F1 Operations Following Split With McLaren
Honda reorganized its Formula 1 management team "as it seeks to improve performance" in '18, according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. The move comes as Honda splits with McLaren "following three years of failure" and moves to a new engine supply partnership with Toro Rosso. The role of Honda F1 CEO, performed by Yusuke Hasegawa for the last two years, "will be split into two positions." Toyoharu Tanabe, an engineer on Jenson Button's car at Honda's F1 team from '06-07, will become technical director. 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." Hasegawa will move to a new role "leading research and development for future road-car projects" (BBC, 12/7). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported an operating officer, "yet to be named, will take charge of research and development at Sakura in Japan." Honda Brand & Communications Head Katsuhide Moriyama said, "By separating these areas of responsibility, we will evolve our structure so that both the development team and racing/testing team can assume their respective responsibilities more speedily." Honda and McLaren's time together "was beset with poor reliability and a lack of performance from a Honda engine struggling to compete with rivals" (REUTERS, 12/7).