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Honda "half happy" with 2016 F1 progress

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Honda "half happy" with 2016 F1 progress
By:
Jan 2, 2017, 9:16 AM

Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa says the Japanese manufacturer can only be "half happy" with its progress during the 2016 F1 season.

Jenson Button, McLaren arrives on the grid
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director
Yusuke Hasegawa, Head of Honda F1 Programme
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31 heading to retirement with a broken front suspension

Although Honda's form improved compared to a disastrous 2015 season - its first since returning to F1 - McLaren was still far from the leading teams and managed a fifth-place finish as its best result.

Although he admits progress has been encouraging, Hasegawa concedes Honda cannot be satisfied with its current performance.

"Half happy and of course we are not satisfied at our current position," said Hasegawa.

"Of course our staff are encouraging and made a very good job but of course we cannot be satisfied at our current position."

McLaren boss Eric Boullier echoed Hasegawa's comments, saying the team's progress needs to continue in order to win races in the short term.

"You can say from ninth on the grid we are now sixth," said Boullier. "In terms of performance we want to close the gap and win races in the short term, not the long term.

"There is some progress, we know what we are doing and where we have to be to win. We see we are progressing.

"Obviously we are not happy, as Hasegawa-san said, we are not happy with where we are today.

"We know we are on the move, closing the gap and even if race by race we can have some differences, generally the trend over the last few years shows we are closing."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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