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Featured Sauber Make Suprise Switch to Honda Power for F1 2018

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment News Editor Staff Premium

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    Sauber Secure Honda Power for 2018 Season.jpg
    The Sauber Formula One team have announced a surprise switch to the Honda power unit for next season, leaving behind the year old Ferrari engine currently in use by the team.


    Despite the woeful performance from Honda since arriving in Formula One at the start of the 2015 Grand Prix season it appears the lure of a closer association with a big name manufacturer has been too much for the struggling Swiss squad to ignore, with today's confirmation that 2017 will be the last season of using Ferrari customer engines the team had made use of since the split from BWM back in 2010.

    Close association with major engine manufacturers are nothing new for Sauber, who remember were the first team to introduce Mercedes back into Formula One in the modern era when they made their Formula One debut for the 1993 Grand Prix season. Associations with Ferrari, Ford and BMW have followed for the perennial midfielders, with BMW even buying considerable shares in the squad and turning the team into a works BMW entry for a number of years in the mid 2000's.

    Of recent seasons Sauber have struggled somewhat with a succession of strictly customer engine deals, making use of a slightly older Ferrari power unit since 2010 that has significantly affected the teams potential to climb up the grid and pick up the fight for points and podiums once again.

    At first glance a move to Honda power might feel like a backwards step for the team, however with the undoubted resources available to the Japanese engine giants and a seemingly steadfast commitment to improve the performance of the PU into the remainder of 2017 and beyond, associating themselves closely with the manufacturer at an early stage in development could turn out to be a very smart move in the long run, and help bring the newly financed team back up to the sharp end of the F1 grid.

    “It is a great honor for the Sauber F1 Team to be able to work together with Honda in the coming seasons" Said Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO and Team Principal of the Sauber F1 team. "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.”

    With the first customer team of the new hybrid engine era signed up by Honda, the Japanese giants will be looking to utilise that additional capacity and the considerable engineering assets of Sauber to help increase the rate of development by the engine manufacturers in an effort to increase performance of the much maligned motor, potentially helping advance the work already undertaken between Honda and the works McLaren team.

    “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" said Katsuhide Moriyama, Chief Officer, Brand and Communication Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd "We will continue our challenges so that our fans will enjoy seeing a Honda with dominant strength as soon as possible.”
    At this early stage no details with regards to the length of contract or what additional technical partnerships can be expected between the two outfits have been confirmed, however it is thought that Sauber will be planning to work closely with Honda in more than just a customer relationship. Whether this could mean the return of the famous Honda junior driver placements (think Nakajima, Sato etc) and a much welcomed return of Japanese drivers in Grand Prix racing remains to be seen, however this could be the start of a very promising partnership for the Sauber Formula One team and the very first steps towards bringing the squad away from the foot of the Formula One grid where it has sadly been languishing in recent years.


    For more Formula One news check out the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment and involve yourself with our awesome racing community!

    Do you think the switch to Honda power is a good move by Sauber? Does the deal signify long term intentions by team and engine manufacturer, or just a quick fix for Sauber before something better comes along? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  2. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo

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    Look guys I know you liked the April fools thing but this is too far! :O_o:
     
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  3. antirussia81

    antirussia81

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    I'm pretty sure that what they have in mind, is the hybrid engine from the last generation of Honda Civic.
     
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  4. Sky

    Sky

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    its not a surprise when everyone already knows.
     
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  5. Sun Levi

    Sun Levi
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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. chargingcar

    chargingcar
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    Thats more funny than Alonso moving to mclaren when he should have stayed with ferrari :roflmao:
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  7. Conny Naslund

    Conny Naslund

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    Doubtful if it can be any worse with the current car and old Ferrari engine. They still have reliability issues with the Ferrari PU although not as bad as McL. Both drivers are good, but what does that help when the whole package is crap. Hopefully Honda with get their act together for 2018 and Sauber can get some "technical draft" from McL to push away from the last positions at least.
     
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  8. RufGTI

    RufGTI

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    "Burn, burn, yes ya gonna burn!"
     
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  9. Brice.S.

    Brice.S.
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    Honda is so desesperate with their engine, for sure they'd do a very nice price for Sauber (and, honestly, that won't change a lot for them, 0 point with a ferrari engine vs 0 point with a cheaper honda engine^^)
    @++
     
  10. Angelo dos Santos

    Angelo dos Santos

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    Solid move from Sauber. An infinite better deal than the current one.
    Is easy to talk **** when a team is down, thats human nature, but Motorsport is a dinamic thing, and nothing better than one day after the other.
     
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  11. Christian Moreau

    Christian Moreau
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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Thang Nguyen

    Thang Nguyen

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    Luckily Alonso won't switch to Sauber next season...
     
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  13. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim

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    This makes me feel confident to apply for a head manager job in F1 ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  14. Omer Said

    Omer Said
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    I think that is not a surprise. Last year's Ferrari is no better than Honda. And I am fairly certain that Honda will make things right soon as such a big company can't fail so much.
     
  15. Azure Flare

    Azure Flare
    Forever a backmarker Premium

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    So now They're going to compete with McLaren to see who retires first.
     
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  16. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

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    Oh dear.
     
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  17. shimon.ifraimov

    shimon.ifraimov

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    well that old ferrari engine wasn't that great anyway, sauber did good here and it will also help with faster engine development.
     
  18. Terry Rock

    Terry Rock

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    Given the absolutely dismal performance of the Honda powerplant, Sauber would be absolutely stupid if they haven't insisted on Honda agree to guarantee full payment of their engines based on performance.
    The Ferrari powerplant...though a year old, has proven it can finish races. The Honda...not so much.
    It's quite frankly...embarrassing to think that given three years this is all Honda has come up with so far.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  19. Racer67

    Racer67

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    Really it is all a great shame that Honda hasn't been able to get it together for 2017. It isn't even about whether you care about Honda or not. It is bad for formula 1, we could have a 3 way fight happening between Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda and that adds more to the stakes and excitement of the sport.

    I think this is a good move for Sauber though. Sure, it is a gamble to some degree, but it is a move that could motivate the team and Honda to do great things. Honda's time may come in 2018 as Ferrari and Mercedes fight it out this year. Having watched Formula 1 for decades, no team or manufacturer dominates forever, times change and it wouldn't surprise me at to see a Mclaren Honda on the podium in 2018 as unlikely as that may sound today.
     
  20. ENDR

    ENDR

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    WAT

    The 2016 Ferrari engine was WAYY more reliable than the crap McLaren run with this season. AND, with all those safety modes they need to use to prevent total PU meltdown, I'm pretty sure it was more powerful as well (I don't remember Ferrari or Haas being 30 km/h down on straights).
    But the most important thing was - IT WORKED. And it still does. And with a working engine you at least have the possibility of scoring points, while the current Honda engine pretty much guarantees a DNF or two.

    Hell, THEY should charge Honda for leasing their cars and running their testing program.
     
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