Honda to join forces with Toro Rosso for the 2018 Formula 1 season

  After ending the F1 partnership with McLaren, Honda is preparing to start a new partnership with Scuderia Toro Rosso in the 2018 Formula World Championships. Honda has announced major changes to its Formula Project team and general structure.

Under the new Honda-Toro Rosso structure, an Operating Officer in charge of HRD Sakura will oversee research and development and the overall operation of races and testing. In the meantime, Honda created a new position, F1 Technical Director, who will concentrate on directing the team at the spot of racing and testing. At the helm of the Technical Directorship is Toyoharu Tanabe, who will assume the responsibility as the first F1 Technical Director. The previous position of Head of Formula 1 Project is thus obsolete.

Tanabe will assume the technical director role at Honda R&D Europe, from 1 January 2018. He currently holds the position of Senior Manager of Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD). Chief of Engineer will be assumed by Yusuke Hasegawa, who the current eExecutive Chief Engineer and Head of F1 Project, Honda R&D Co., Ltd.

Katsuhide Moriyama, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations at Honda, commented, “In the past, the Head of F1 Project assumed responsibility in both technological development and directing the team at the spot of racing. 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. Thank you for your continuous support,“ he added.

Tanabe’s career at Honda:

1984: Joined Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
1990-1992: Engineer for G. Berger with McLaren Honda Team
1993-2003: Race Engineer, research into IndyCar engines
2003: Chief Engineer for J. Button with B.A.R. Honda Team
2004-2007: Chief Engineer for J. Button with B.A.R. Honda Team and Honda Race Test Manager
2006-2007: Chief Engineer for J. Button with Honda Racing F1 Team and Honda Race Test Manager
2008: F1 development project leader at Honda R&D Co., Ltd.
2009-2013: Mass-production engine development at Honda R&D Co., Ltd.
2013-2017: Senior Manager and Race Team Chief Engineer, Honda Performance Development, Inc.

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