Sauber have announced that they will use Honda power units next season after signing a new technological partnership with the Japanese auto giant. Honda currently supply engines exclusively to McLaren, while Sauber are powered by Ferrari units.
“It is a great honour for the Sauber F1 Team to be able to work together with Honda in the coming seasons,” said Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber CEO and team principal. “Our realignment is not just visible through the new ownership but also now with our new technological partnership with Honda.”
We will continue our challenges so that our fans will enjoy seeing a Honda with dominant strength as soon as possible
Sauber, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary in Formula One racing this year, have been using Ferrari engines since ending their association with BMW back in 2010, and this season are powered by 2016-spec units from the Italian team.
They thanked Ferrari “for many years of collaboration in good as well as difficult times”, but intend their new partnership to help continue the team’s renewal following its takeover by new backers last year.
“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,” added Kaltenborn.
“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.”
Honda have enjoyed multiple championship-winning success in F1 in the past, but have struggled since returning to the series with McLaren in 2015. Sauber will be their first customer team of the hybrid V6 era.
“This will be a new challenge in Honda’s F1 activities,” said Katsuhide Moriyama, Chief Officer, Brand and Communication Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
“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.”