Honda F1 chief hails team effort as McLaren score "precious" points

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Honda Formula 1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa hailed the progress made by both his and the McLaren team during 2017 after securing double points finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

On one of the least power sensitive circuits of the year, the British team once again highlighted the strength of their chassis as Fernando Alonso finished sixth, setting the fastest lap in the process, and Stoffel Vandoorne secured his first point since his debut in Bahrain last year claiming 10th.

Although the 71-second gap between the Spaniard and race winner Sebastian Vettel, who also had a steering issue all race, highlighted the scale of the challenge McLaren still faces, Hasegawa praised the performance of the drivers to optimise the result.

“Today was a good day at the office for the McLaren-Honda team,” he declared. “A double-points finish is definitely a positive step forward for us.

“After yesterday’s encouraging result in qualifying, we knew we had a package capable of scoring some points. Both Fernando and Stoffel drove brilliantly, keeping their concentration in hot and tough conditions, and pushed throughout to bring home nine precious points.”

Hasegawa also believed the result was a well-deserved boost for those in Woking and Japan after a torrid year which had seen McLaren stuck to the bottom of the Constructors' Championship and seen Alonso reach the chequered flag in just two of the first 10 races.

“Today’s result is the sum of a lot of hard work and daily efforts made by the team members, and I want to thank them all for this,” he said.

He would end with a warning, however, that the performance in Budapest was very circuit-specific and that the hard work needed ahead of two very unfavourable layouts to come next.

“Although we are now able to head into the summer break with good momentum, we are not satisfied with the overall results of the first half of the season," he stated.

"We will continue to push our development for improvement, and hope to have a good start of the second half in Spa-Francorchamps.”

 

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