Honda's Yusuke Hasegawa has admitted the company is having a difficult time currently, with the repeating MGU-H failures at Bahrain causing some headaches. As long as reliability is not there, the team is hampered to make any performance improvements as well.
“It became a very disappointing day in the end today", said Honda's head of F1 project, Yusuke Hasegawa after qualifying.
“During FP3 this morning we were able to complete our practice programme as planned to find suitable qualifying and race settings. Unfortunately this afternoon in qualifying we had to end Fernando’s Q2 session prematurely after detecting an MGU-H issue."
He later confirmed that the issue was to do with the bearings, causing terminal failure that required the replacement of the MGU-H. In fact, it is possible that such failure causes further damage to the internal combustion engine as well.
Even though the all three MGU-H failures so far this weekend seem related, the team is still unsure why the issue is happening here, while no such issue popped up in either of the previous races.
"We're not sure why it happened just here three times, but we are suspecting something happened in this environment. Possibly because the temperatures are very high."
The issues are causing further frustration with Fernando Alonso, whose efforts were botched again by a power unit failure.
“Unfortunately, my lap in Q2 was good", Alonso said ironically.
"I think until the last corner it was half a second better than my Q1 time, then I went on the throttle and there was an issue in the power unit. That hurt, because we had a chance of being a couple of places up.
Tomorrow we’ll have to fit a new power unit, which won’t have the perfect settings or calibration. The first lap the engine gets will be the formation lap, so it won’t get any warm-up, we won’t get any laps to tune it, and we’ll probably therefore have an even tougher race than we’d expected.
“The guys in the garage work day and night to prepare the car, there are parts we keep changing, we keep testing the updates, there’s hard work behind every weekend, but we don’t have a competitive power unit to fight at the front.
“It’s not the ideal situation, but there’s nothing we can do just now, so we’ll see tomorrow what we can do.”