Sauber Drop Honda Confirmed - 'Multi Year' Ferrari Deal Agreed

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Sauber Seal Ferrari Engine Deal.jpg
    Honda woes in Formula One continue as the Swiss Sauber team confirm cancellation of the 2018 supply agreement, opting for a multi year extension to remain with Ferrari.

    Realistically the news has been expected for some time now, however during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend it has been confirmed that perennial backmarkers Sauber have pulled out of their deal to run Honda power from 2018, leaving the struggling Japanese manufacturer perilously close to finding themselves all dressed up with no place to go.

    The deal to supply Sauber from 2018 was seen as something of a back stop safety net for Honda as their relationship with McLaren continues to break down, leaving the Japanese with a presence in Formula One and giving Sauber a potential financial break and putting themselves in the pound seats should Honda pick up their act in the coming seasons.

    Unfortunately for Honda, with a change in leadership at the popular Swiss team it appears that a decision to continue a long running customer relationship with Ferrari has taken preference over the potential risk attached to bringing on-board the McLaren engine supplier, leaving Honda in a difficult position as they continue to cast around the Grand Prix grid for 2018.

    Sauber Seal Ferrari Engine Deal 2.jpg

    "I am very pleased to confirm that we will continue to work with Scuderia Ferrari as our engine supplier in form of a multi-year agreement," Sauber's new team principal Frederic Vasseur said.​

    "The shared experience between the Sauber F1 Team and Ferrari has built a strong foundation, which will allow us to move forward swiftly and efficiently, also in terms of the development of the 2018 car.

    "I am convinced that together we can achieve the results which reflect the passion and determination that is, and always has been, behind the Sauber F1 Team."

    With Sauber having had ties with the Ferrari team for a number of years now, the new agreement will represent a step up in performance for the squad as the engine is expected to be the 'latest power unit specification', rather than the year old unit that has been used in previous years.

    With McLaren looking increasingly dissatisfied with their current arrangement during 2017, Honda could be left in the incredibly embarrassing position of having a 2018 specification power unit, but with no team willing to get in bed with the once proud Japanese outfit.

    If McLaren do wish to terminate their current works association with Honda, the British squad will have to act fast in order to allow enough time for the engineers back at Woking to plan their new Formula One challenger. Despite the difficult relationship and woefully underperforming engine, very few options are available to McLaren at this time, short of joining the customer ranks with a big manufacturer the likes of Mercedes or Ferrari, a situation that will surely be difficult to swallow for the multiple World Championship winning squad.

    Check out the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment for all the latest Grand Prix news and community discussions.

    Do you think the deal to remain with Ferrari is the right move for Sauber? What now for Honda? What (realistic) options remain for McLaren for F1 2018? Let us know your opinions below!

    The next move is firmly in McLaren's hands. Watch this space....
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  2. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

    Not surprising really....

    Sorry, Honda but you really needed big improvements this season and it seems already too little too late. Hungary's potential results may just be the last opportunity for Mclaren to decide what to do.

    New Honda F1 Slogan

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
    • Haha Haha x 7
  3. TheMrSuperShotJay


    Sauber need as much help as possible so the Ferrari engine is the right way to go with the Honda engine not showing massive gains, Honda will probably make sure Mclaren stay with them for another year, with all their funding it shouldn't be a problem, Mclaren are lacking sponsors and don't really have any other viable options.
  4. Glaurung


    Actually McLaren has no other option than remain firmly linked with Honda, because Mercedes and Ferrari will never supply them their last spec engines.
  5. Terry Rock

    Terry Rock

    Quite frankly, I'm a bit surprised that McLaren hasn't purchased the assets of the former Cosworth division and gotten to work building their own powerplant.
    They certainly have the money and the 'know-how'.
    As to the Sauber engine deal... They'd have to be complete idiots to put ink on that contract at this point, given Honda's abysmal performance to date.
    To come back year-after-year with the same unreliability...given the lack of performance is puzzling to say the least.
    If the engine output was increasing but it still suffered unreliability, I would be more sympathetic.
    That doesn't seem to be the case.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  6. David Jundt

    David Jundt

    ...unless you guys also buy into the fairy tale/myth of Sauber being handed dumbed down engines for years:rolleyes:
  7. thewarmer


    That is smart & nasty tactical move by Ferrari , in one hand shake they have nobbled McLaren left them with next to no option but to stick with Honda. The end result is that one of the best teams in History will not be a threat to Ferrari in 2018 no matter how good a Car they produce if Honda fail to move forwards in some big steps then both are screwed. Even better for Ferrari & Mercedes Honda will not have the luxury of getting and extra development team that would have helped them to speed up development of the power-unit. Really bad for McLaren who are loosing sponsor revenue had over fist has long has the under performance continues.
    I for one hope they both turn a corner & come back to the front soon both are far to big in the sport to continue to under perform like they have done.