Honda replace F1 boss Arai

If there’s one thing Formula 1 can be good at, it’s shoving people around to different teams, roles and places. It seems that Honda have decided to move Yasuhisa Arai out of the leadership role for Honda’s F1 program and have replaced him with Yusuke Hasegawa.

The team say the move was to bring youth and diversity to the management team…whatever the heck that means. These days press offices will label any change—like moving from Pepsi to Coke or changing to Puffs from Kleenex—as “diversity”. Hasegawa said:

“I need to catch up with what is going on,” Hasegawa said.

“There are a lot of good people working very closely with McLaren so I don’t think it will be a big problem.

“Compared to Arai-san, I think I am a very conservative person.”

Arai was always the optimist in the crowd and seemed intent on just how well things were going as McLaren experienced their worst year ever. Those are hard situations to be smiling about but he did just the same. Arai said:

“I will do my best to support him,” he said. “He has a different personality, the approach is a little bit different. This year we know how big the gap is to the top teams…so we don’t say such optimistic words. More realism.”

So now McLaren’s woeful 2015 season has taken claimed its first victim at Honda. Let’s hope that Hasegawa can fit in to the “Culture” of McLaren which the team were keen to point at last year as the real issue.

Hat Tip: Reuters

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charlie white

Another victim of Ron Dennis’s purges. Remember Martin Whitmarsh? Not a positive start to the season.


I don’t think Ronny D had any say in this, Honda was his boss. The Big D might have voiced his opinion but he certainly didn’t make the call.

charlie white

And you believe Ron had no influence on this decision?

John The Race Fan

Cultural differences…

Tom Firth

Odd. I’d imagined would of silently dropped Arai over the winter if wanted too, or late last season. It seems odd to drop him now that the F1 press machine is active and the results of his work are starting to show.

Tom Firth

Unless of course it is related to what Boulier said yesterday and we don’t know what they do yet, which is that the Mclaren progress is not what Honda and Mclaren expected it to be, and that they’ve known this a little while now?


I wouldn’t read too much into this… Apparently Honda has a mandatory retirement age of 60, and Arai-San is 59. This could be more a matter of setting up a graceful transition than anything else.

Fred Talmadge

Timing seems odd. Maybe the data for the first test is a lot worse then we realize.

Daniel Shenise

Honda in general is undergoing a major corporate reshuffle. On the consumer end they are supposedly letting the engineers and designers actually design versus taking marching orders from sales/marketing, so the idea that they’d shuffle the F1 side too makes sense.



Paul KieferJr

I suspect that Honda’s trying to save face by eliminating someone who screwed up.

Jack Flash (Australia)

The writing was on the wall at Honda Headquarters, when the F1 Engine program went so very Arai… aaaaaahhh… Awry.