Sauber F1 Team To Switch To Honda Engines In 2018

Sauber F1 team will be switching to Honda engines starting from the 2018 season of the Formula One World Championship, the team announced in a statement.

By Sameer Contractor


1 mins read


Published on May 1, 2017

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  • Sauber will be the second team after McLaren to source engines from Honda
  • Ferrari has been Sauber's engine supplier for the longest time
  • Honda says it is working to improve the shortcomings faced by McLaren

Sauber will be switching to Honda engines starting from the 2018 season of the Formula One World Championship, the team announced in a statement. This will also make it the second team on the grid to get Honda engines alongside McLaren; while ending its eight year relationship with Ferrari.

Calling it "strategic from a technical perspective", Sauber F1 Team Principal, Monisha Kaltenborn said, "It is a great honour 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."

sauber f1 team

Sauber currently is running last year's Ferrari engines in its cars

It has been evident that the Swiss team has been struggling this season and are one of the slowest of the 10 teams. Sauber's move to switch to Honda engines has met with its fair share of criticism; more so, given McLaren's performance since the start of 2017.

Not only has McLaren been one of the slowest teams on the grid, but has also faced reliability issues. Something that's been a bother for Fernando Alonso with multiple retirements in just four race weekends. Honda switched to a new engine design this year, but has failed to make improvements on the engine as expected.

mclaren f1 fernando alonso

McLaren has been one of the slowest teams as well this year powered by Honda engines

That said, Sauber is confident that Honda's engines will improve over the next races, and it should perform better next season. Honda's current partner, McLaren welcomed Sauber and said it was a chance to double the opportunity for research and development in 2018.

Honda's Chief Officer, Brand and Communication Operations, Katsuhide Moriyama said, "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."

With respect to Sauber's association with Ferrari, the Swiss team said it was an emotional moment to part ways with the Italian marque. The manufacturer supplied power units to Sauber between 1997 and 2005, then badged as Petronas engines; and later from 2010 onward. This year, Sauber is using last year's Ferrari engines.


Last Updated on May 1, 2017

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