The Honda Motor Company has announced it will be supplying its power units to the Sauber F1 Team as a customer, starting from the 2018 season of the FIA Formula (F1) One World Championship.
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team added, “It is a great honor for the Sauber F1 Team to be able to work together with Honda in the coming seasons. Our realignment is not just visible through the new ownership but also now with our new technical 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 as technical perspective.”
The Swiss-based racing outfit approached Honda with an initial proposal, which was formally inked during the recent Russian Grand Prix. Honda has also pledged to speed up development of its energy management technologies and overall competitiveness of its power units.
The Sauber deal comes as the McLaren Honda F1 team’s 2017 season has been beset by reliability issues and a car that is glaringly off the pace when compared to front-running teams such as Ferrari and Mercedes.
The 2017 Sauber C36 was developed from the ground up as an all-new car, guided by the 2017 regulations of wider tyres and new aerodynamics package. The Sauber C36 runs a Ferrari engine for the 2017 season.