Button says new Honda boss a big boost for McLaren

Jenson Button is convinced new Honda motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa will be a great boost for his McLaren team this year.

Hasegawa, with whom Button worked in F1 at the Japanese manufacturer's own F1 team a decade ago, has replaced Yasuhisa Arai as Honda's motorsport boss.

Arai had led the car marker's efforts in F1 since it announced its return to Formula 1 with McLaren.

Button believes Hasegawa is exactly what both Honda and McLaren need to move forward.

"He's a great leader. He's a great listener," Button told reporters on Tuesday. "He spent last week all the time with the engineers, the McLaren engineers and mechanics to get a good understanding of the team.

"I've never seen anyone in his position do that before.

"I really like the guy and I remember working with him 10 years ago and he's gained a lot of experience since then, but he's still the same person, which is a strong personality who worked very hard to find a way to improve the car and bring updates as much as he can.

"He will push the team very hard, which is great and people will fall in line because they will believe in him," Button added.

Button, who will back in the car on Wednesday at Barcelona, said it's still too early to say how much progress McLaren has made with its new car and the new Honda engine.

The British driver also pointed out that McLaren had not run its high-downforce aero package yet.

"I can't tell you yet. There's nothing negative, which is important. There are no big issues to iron out, but we haven't pushed the car. We also haven't run the car in its proper downforce settings.

"We've ran low downforce because we don't have the wings yet. I could probably tell you a lot more tomorrow when I'm at the circuit."

Interview by Aleksander Kabanovsky

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news
Tags honda