'No takers for Honda's engine', says Hasegawa

ยฉ WRI2

Honda's motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa says that he would readily supply a second team in Formula 1 but that no one is currently interested in the Japanese power unit.

It's been an uphill struggle for Honda since its return to the pinnacle of motor sport last year with partner McLaren under the new era hybrid V6 power unit rules introduced in 2014.

While the manufacturer's reliability and performance level have greatly improved this season, Honda still requires huge development improvements before it can tackle rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.

Honda believes the addition of a second team using its power unit would help its development rate, something even McLaren now agrees with, but there are no takers at present unfortunately.

"I think from a technical point of view it is good to have a second team, to have more chances to run the engines," explained Yusuke Hasegawa.

"Of course it costs a bit more, and we need to prepare the engineers, but in general I would be happy to have a second team if we have the opportunity.

"But also at this moment we are not strong enough. There is not any team that wants to have a Honda engine. We need to wait. I have to change the situation."

Hasegawa confirmed that updates to its power unit, mainly targeting its internal combustion engine, are scheduled to be introduced sometime over the summer, and that a performance increase will follow.

"We are aiming to have half a second [gain], but I don't know, I can't tell if we can achieve that. But we should do that. We need to improve," said Hasegawa.

The Japanese engineer ย said however that no decision had yet been taken regarding the direction Honda shall be following next year on its engineering and development front.

"So far we are researching many possibilities. Drastic change or a continuous one, we haven't decided yet which direction we will go. We are researching that.

"Maybe in August we will have to decide. McLaren has to decide the package."

While McLaren is not questioning Honda's commitment to succeed, Hasegawa admitted the manufacturer was under intense pressure to deliver results, both from its partner and from within.

"The pressure is very big, huge, and it's not just coming from the two drivers. There is Ron Dennis, and of course Honda.

"The biggest pressure, for me, is coming from within Honda, from inside, the board."

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