Honda has confirmed that Yusuke Hasegawa will depart from his role in the Formula 1 project ahead of a management shake-up for the 2018 season. Hasegawa was the head of Honda's three-year stint with McLaren, which came to a close at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Next year, Honda will power Toro Rosso, Red Bull's junior team. Toyoharu Tanabe will become Honda's F1 technical director. Tanabe previously worked as senior manager of Honda Performance Development in IndyCar.
Tanabe arrives with a vast amount of experience in Formula 1. He was Gerhard Berger's engineer for McLaren-Honda in the early 90's, and also worked as Jenson Button's senior engineer at BAR and Honda from 2003 to 2007. Hasegawa will take up the role of executive chief engineer on January 1st, remaining a part of the Honda company.
"In the past, the Head of F1 Project assumed responsibility in both technological development and directing the team at the spot of racing,” said Katsuhide Moriyama, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations.
"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. By ensuring both the development team and racing team soundly fulfill their respective roles, Honda will continue its challenges so that fans can enjoy seeing Toro Rosso-Honda competing at the top level without further delay."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing