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Honda confirms Hasegawa’s departure from F1 project for 2018

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Honda has confirmed the departure of Yusuke Hasegawa from its Formula 1 project as part of a restructuring of its management team ahead of the 2018 season.

After returning to F1 as an engine supplier in 2015 with McLaren, Honda will switch its allegiance to Red Bull B-team Toro Rosso for 2018 following three difficult seasons.

As part of its changes for 2018, Honda confirmed on Thursday morning that Hasegawa would no longer serve as its head of Formula 1 project after two seasons in charge, with the role being eliminated.

Honda’s F1 interests will be Toyoharu Tanabe, who becomes F1 technical director after previously working as senior manager of Honda Performance Development in IndyCar.

Tanabe also has significant experience working in F1, dating back to being Gerhard Berger’s engineer at McLaren-Honda in the early 1990s. Tanabe also served as Jenson Button’s chief engineer at BAR and Honda between 2003 and 2007.

“In the past, the Head of F1 Project assumed responsibility in both technological development and directing the team at the spot of racing,” explained Katsuhide Moriyama, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations.

“By separating these areas of responsibility, we will evolve our structure so that both the development team and racing/testing team can assume their respective responsibilities more speedily.

“By ensuring both the development team and racing team soundly fulfill their respective roles, Honda will continue its challenges so that fans can enjoy seeing Toro Rosso-Honda competing at the top level without further delay.”

Hasegawa will remain within the Honda company upon the change in roles on January 1, taking up the position of executive chief engineer.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”