Honda’s Formula One division is getting rid of its top role for next year and splitting it into two, because the pressure of overseeing the worst engine in F1 is far too much for one poor soul. Surely, this will magically make everything great and next year will be a dream instead of a nightmare.
The McLaren team split from Honda, which supplied its power units, after the 2017 season because Honda’s engine was very, very bad. Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior team, then dropped its Renault engines to run Honda in 2018. That wasn’t smart, but more power to them for looking their fears right in the face.
But Honda is determined to make things better next year, starting with a big management restructure: Overall Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa will be out of the F1 side of things starting at the first of the year, and his role will be divided among two people. Honda Performance Development senior manager Toyoharu Tanabe will take over as the technical director for Honda’s F1 efforts, and the other new title will oversee research and development in races and testing.
Honda didn’t say who would get the second role, but Motorsport.com reports that Honda engineer Yasuaki Asaki will take it over. The website didn’t say how it learned the information, but said Asaki will be in charge of engine development.
Motorsport.com reports that former Honda F1 chief Hasegawa, who fought and fought to make people believe Honda would one day be good during his time as the head of the F1 efforts, will be solely on the production side starting in 2018. His new job as “Executive Chief Engineer” will be about global research and development for future mass production.
No matter how things go (or don’t go, literally) with Honda’s engine next year, Hasegawa’s optimism will be missed. He assured everyone the world was not imploding on itself when Honda’s engine definitely was, and it takes a special kind of person to do that—again, and again, and again.
And again, just to make sure we covered everything.