Honda boss admits Canada concerns

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Honda’s power unit problems will weaken McLaren’s performance at the demanding Canadian Grand Prix, according to Formula 1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa.

He admitted the Japanese manufacturer will be on the back foot around the power-sensitive layout in Montreal, with a decision on whether to run an upgrade to their power unit waiting until the last minute.

Regardless, Hasegawa insists his team will keep on pushing forward, but that will not be enough for the upcoming race.

“Despite the beautiful nature of the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, this power-hungry, demanding track will not play to our strengths,” he conceded

“With its power-oriented nature, stop and start corners, abrasive surface and long straights, it will no doubt be another challenging race weekend for us.”

“However we will keep pushing forward, no matter how tough the challenge ahead.”

This weekend also sees the return of Fernando Alonso and talking about having the Spaniard back after his participation at the Indy 500, Hasegawa added: “His bid to win in his rookie year came to a disappointing end, but once again Fernando showed what an incredible talent he is.”

“He was a contender for victory throughout the legendary race and drove like a seasoned oval racer. I am looking forward to seeing him after his great adventure.'

Meanwhile, Alonso himself also reflected on his Indy 500 appearance and his return to F1 and also acknowledged the challenge his team will be facing in Canada.

“The Indy 500 was an incredible experience and it’s been amazing to learn a completely different style of driving, on a different circuit layout and with a very different car, but I’m ready to get back to my ‘day job’ and go racing in F1 again,” Alonso said.

“I’ve always enjoyed the Canadian Grand Prix. The circuit is unique in that it’s very demanding on both the car and driver, so it’s a real racer’s track.”

“While I was in Indy I was still keeping up-to-date with the news from Monaco, and Stoffel [Vandoorne] and Jason [Button] both reported positively on the new upgrades and reliability, so I hope we can continue to see a step forward in Canada.

“It’s not going to suit our car as much as the twisty, slower corners of Monaco, but I’m excited to get back in the MCL32, catch up with the guys and girls in the team and get back out on track – not only turning left this time!”