Honda reshuffle F1 team ahead of Toro Rosso move

Fernando Alonso gets out of his car during practice at the Canadian Grand Prix

McLaren had a total of 380 grid-penalty places during a strained final year with Honda

After a hard three-season relationship with Honda, McLaren in September negotiated a release from its contract, with the team signing up to field Renault engines for 2018.

Honda will implement a new management structure for its Formula 1 programme in 2018, with current project leader Yusuke Hasegawa moved to a different role at the organisation.

Honda, meanwhile, will remain in Formula 1 as power unit partner to Toro Rosso.

Toyoharu Tanabe, engineer on Jenson Button's auto at Honda's F1 team in 2006-7, will become technical director.

In creating the new role, Honda said it is splitting the responsibilities formerly held by Hasegawa, with Tanabe responsible for "directing the team at the spot of racing and testing".

Hasegawa was appointed to the role of Head of F1 Project at the start of 2016, replacing Yasuhisa Arai, as Honda sought to turn around its fortunes after a dismal 2015 campaign.

He also worked in IndyCar, now holds the role of senior manager and race team chief engineer for Honda Performance Development and is believed to be highly rated within Honda.

Honda says he will use his experience and knowledge from the F1 project to work on various global research and development projects focused on future mass production.

"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", said Honda's brand and communications head Katsuhide Moriyama.

"By ensuring both the development team and racing team soundly fulfil 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".

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