Yusuke Hasegawa named new Honda F1 chief

23 Feb 2016 10:53

Honda will have a new boss for their Formula One project after it was announced that Yusuke Hasegawa will replace Yasuhisa Arai.

Arai, 59, came under increasing pressure last season following Honda's troubled return to the sport as an engine supplier to McLaren.

The British team endured one of the worst seasons in their glittering history after scoring a paltry 27 points.

Arai will now become senior managing officer of Honda's research and development arm, while Hasegawa, who has been involved in the sport before with roles at BAR and Jordan, will assume his position on March 1.

Honda's F1 programme attracted widespread criticism last year, not least at their home race in Japan where Fernando Alonso hit out at the engine supplier.

In a radio rant, the two-time world champion likened the Honda power unit to something akin to Formula One's feeder series GP2.

Alonso had his first stint behind the wheel of the new McLaren in testing on Tuesday morning after taking over from team-mate Jenson Button.

The Spaniard, who is in the second of his three-year deal with McLaren, insisted at the end of last season that he will race on in 2016 despite his boss Ron Dennis claiming he may take a sabbatical if the car is not competitive.