Honda have not made a “complete mistake” with their 2017 engine; that’s according to F1 project chief Yusuke Hasegawa.
Down on power and up on weight, Honda opted to revise their engine over the winter believing that the new unit would be a competitive beast.
Not only is the new engine lagging behind all of Honda’s rivals but it is also proving very unreliable with yet another engine changed needed in the wake of Friday’s first practice for the Russian GP.
Despite McLaren’s trouble, Hasegawa insists Honda have not made a mistake with the new unit.
“I don’t think we have made a complete mistake,” he said in Friday’s press conference at Sochi.
“From last year’s performance we knew we had to change everything, not only the package but also the combustion, so that we try to modify the whole area.
“And some areas we succeeded, to reduce the weight and get down the COG [centre of gravity].
“But definitely we couldn’t get enough power from the combustion.
“So, yes, it is just an excuse, but still we need time.
“But we don’t think we made a huge mistake. The direction was right.”
Honda’s need to improve has not be helped by the fact that they supply just one team, McLaren, with Japanese manufacturer hoping to add a second team come next season.
“From the start of this Formula 1 activity we committed to supporting this Formula 1 society,” Hasegawa explained.
“So from that point of view it is duty and we have to support multiple teams, and also we are thinking it will give us some benefit to have multiple teams.
“Because we will have more data and more chance to make the car running [on track], so we don’t deny it to have a second or third team.”
Pressed on the subject, he added: “We are talking with various teams but at this moment we unfortunately have nothing to say.”