With McLaren bottom of the 2017 standings and yet to score a point, executive director Zak Brown told Reuters on Wednesday that the team have "serious concerns" about their title-winning potential with current engine provider Honda.
The Spaniard is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the season, and while he says he will take the decision on his next career move over the summer break in August, it seems increasingly unlikely that he will remain with the British team. In Monaco, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jenson Button managed to get their McLaren cars into Q3 for the first time this season.
"It is very hard", a clearly uncomfortable Hasegawa told reporters. And we were as comfortable as we could be in the environment, and some of that stuff has happened and not worked, some of it has happened and has worked, and some of it is not here yet. "It's no wonder he has complained and he is frustrated. We are doing many things to speed up our development but I don't disclose what".
Brawn added: "We value Honda as part of the sport and if we can do anything to support their efforts to improve for the future we will do that".
"We need to get competitive and show regular signs that we are getting competitive". But I am confident we are not lost. "You know, if we are winning before September or something like that I will make a decision and I will stay". "A year in Formula One is an eternity".
Fernando Alonso has sown more doubts about his future at McLaren by saying that the team will have to prove by September that it can win races if he is to stay on.
Brawn ruled out the F1 Group playing any role in trying to find the Spaniard a competitive auto in 2018, as former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been known to do with drivers in the past. "So, if you don't see things changing and you are not in a competitive position, maybe you change projects".
"Nevertheless, I think we know this circuit, we've raced here for many years, and we should understand how to attack qualifying and the race, so our time loss should hopefully not translate into too much of a handicap". If we are not fortunate enough to keep him then we will find someone else. "He wants to race at the front of the field. That's what he wants and we want".
"We are in a number that is quite demanding already with the life you have between the preparation, the sponsor events, the tests, the commitments, plus 20 or 21 races".
This year, 20 races will be held across the globe from March until November but Liberty Media are keen to add to the calendar. We're not going to go into another year like this, in hope.