The Honda Motor Company Ltd has announced changes to its F1 programme with a new director role to oversee and supervise all F1 related undertakings. This will go to Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, the CEO of Honda R&D. The actual F1 programme will be taken over by Yusuke Hasegawa, who will replace Yasuhisa Arai as head the head of development, manufacturing and management of the F1 project. Arai will become senior managing director of Honda R&D.
The change will hopefully lead to different attitudes at Honda where the F1 programme has been held back by the company’s apparent unwillingness to look outside for talent and knowledge. The change has been coming for some time and there is no evidence to suggest it is linked to the poor showing of the Honda 2016 engine in testing.
Hasegawa joined Honda in 1986 and became chief engineer of Honda R&D in 2000. Two years later he transferred to Honda Racing Development Ltd before returning to Honda R&D as Senior Chief Engineer in 2010. Two years ago he was named as managing director of the Honda Automobile R&D Center.