After months of speculation, Sauber have officially conformed they will be using Honda engines from 2018 on wards ending a long standing partnership between the Swiss outfit and Ferrari.
The deal will see Sauber become a second team alongside Mclaren, despite rumours they could be switching back to Mercedes power next year. It will also allow them to get a full spec engine unlike the 2016 spec Ferrari engine they have now.
Although Mclaren have slammed Honda so far this year for their lack of power and reliability, having a second Honda powered team will help. It means that there will be double the millage and testing on the engine allowing for faster development.
“It is a great honour for the Sauber F1 Team to be able to work together with Honda in the coming seasons.” Said Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.
“Our realignment is not just visible through the new ownership but also now with our new technological partnership with Honda. We have set another milestone with this new engine era, which we await with huge excitement and of course we are looking for new opportunities.
“We very much look forward to our partnership with Honda, which sets the course for a successful future – from a strategic as well as from a technological perspective. We thank Honda for making this great partnership happen.”
Katsuhide Moriyama of Honda said: “In addition to the partnership with McLaren which began in 2015, Honda will begin supplying power units to Sauber as a customer team starting from next year.
“This will be a new challenge in Honda’s F1 activities. In order to leverage the benefits of supplying to two teams to the maximum extent, we will strengthen the systems and capabilities of both of our two development operations, namely HRD Sakura and the operation in Milton Keynes.
“We will continue our challenges so that our fans will enjoy seeing a Honda with dominant strength as soon as possible.”
Despite Honda saying the deal will see Honda as second team alongside Mclaren. There is still a chance that the Woking team could move to Mercedes.
In the words of Murray Walker: “Anything can happen in F1, and it usually does”.