Honda open to reaching out for help from F1

Honda logo against setting sun
ยฉ XPB 

With its relationship with McLaren seemingly on death row, engine manufacturer Honda has admitted that it might need to accept help from Formula 1 management after all.

Formula 1 sporting boss Ross Brawn recently said the sport itself could help Honda get on top of the problems it has been experiencing since returning to the sport in 2015.

Now for the first time, Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa has admitted that the company might need to do just that.

"He said he would be happy to help Honda on request," Hasegawa is quoted as telling Spain's AS newspaper. "We'll have to ask. I greatly appreciate the offer. We'll keep talking."

Asked if Brawn had said he wanted to ensure Honda stayed in Formula 1, Hasegawa said: "He didn't comment about that.

"but I feel naturally he is thinking about that, that he wants Honda to stay, that's why he has offered support."

Despite criticism of Honda's Formula 1 operation, Honda's parent company has apparently ruled out replacing Hasegawa for the time being.

"I do not decide my future. If someone wants to change my position, I have to obey that," Hasegawa told Autosport magazine.

"From Honda's point of view, nobody is thinking about changing my position," he insisted.

"Maybe there is someone who can lead this programme better," he admitted. " "If he is here, I am not very happy, but okay, I have to change the positions.

"The focus is on the job and making progress. As long as I am here, I am going to do my best."

Williams meanwhile has ruled out switching from Mercedes engines to Honda in 2018. That leaves the company working with just Sauber on the current grid.

However Sauber does not produce its own gearbox, meaning that they may have to use McLaren's transmission next year. Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn - speaking before news of her departure from the team - said that this would not be a problem even if McLaren and Honda part ways.

"They [McLaren and Sauber] are two separate projects. We are two customers," Kaltenborn had told Swiss news agency Schweizerische Depeschenagentur. "There will be no synergies."

Asked about a deal to use McLaren's transmission, Kaltenborn had replied: "I cannot say anything at this time."

"It is not working at the moment at McLaren," Kaltenborn said of the power unit. "And of course that is not good.

"But I am not able to draw any conclusions about how it will be next year. This is all speculation and I have no reason to doubt."

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