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Honda will do ‘everything’ in bid to fix McLaren F1 partnership

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Honda is doing “everything” in a bid to fix its struggling Formula 1 partnership with McLaren amid ongoing power unit problems, according to sporting chief Yusuke Hasegawa.

The McLaren-Honda partnership is now into its third year, but has shown few signs of progress in that time as the British team currently ails at the back of the grid.

McLaren executive director Zak Brown offered the team’s most scathing assessment of Honda’s problems yet earlier this week, saying the Japanese manufacturer looked “lost” and that the partnership was nearing a “fork in the road”.

When asked for a response to Brown’s comments on Friday, Hasegawa said: “I don’t respond.

“Of course we are talking together, even this morning. It is obvious we are frustrated with the current situation and we are disappointing with our team result, so there is no wonder there are some complaining comments.

“But the things we can do is try our very best for the team, and we are still aiming to go the same direction.”

Hasegawa said that Honda needs to up its game and prove to McLaren that it has the potential to lift the team up the grid and become competitive.

“It is very difficult but it is very unfortunate that we can’t convince them that we can do that,” Hasegawa said.

“From the results point of view of course we need much improvement, from the performance and the reliability point of view. So, yeah, we will do everything. We need to do everything.”

Brown said in the interview earlier this week that Honda was behind schedule on planned updates for its power unit, with the package set to be introduced in Canada never appearing. However, Hasegawa claimed that it was never promised.

“We don’t promise normally, although of course every time I try to update the engine as soon as possible, so every time we are ready, we will introduce it,” Hasegawa said.

“Unfortunately, it has not happened here. So, still we are trying hard in Japan, and so as soon as it is ready, we will introduce it.”

Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.