Honda ready to supply Sauber with engines

Published on 15 Jul 2017 17:42

Honda’s deal with Sauber to supply engines to the team seems to be back on, after fears the deal could be in jeopardy.

It had been said that after former team boss Monisha Kaltenborn left the team earlier the year that the deal could be off the table, as it was Kaltenborn who had negotiated the deal.

Indeed the latest rumour has been that there was no real contract signed between the two outfits, only an official announcement and letter of intent signed. This would mean that there were no legal complications in a deal being off or on between the two teams.

The match seemed to be a good one for the two, as Sauber had been struggling to compete with Ferrari’s one year old engines which were said to be costing more than Honda engines would cost the team. It was also said that Honda wanted the deal so they had an extra car on the grid to help develop their ailing engine to become more competitive.

Honda F1 director, Mashashi Yamamoto said on the deal: "We are ready to equip Sauber with power units. I built up a lot with Monisha Kaltenborn and we would be happy to have Sauber. Honda has no objections to the originally agreed deal."


Sam Gale

Replies (6)
SE calle.itw 15 Jul 2017 17:550
Posts: 4456
Why the exclamation marks around ready in the header? Ready does seem like ready in this case, I doubt sarchasm is necessary.
Posts: 654
Hope they will. There is a marked improvement over the last couple of races. If mclaren jack in honda i can see redbull making a move for them.
SE calle.itw 16 Jul 2017 12:290
Posts: 4456
Yes, that seem to be the trend. We've seen it with McLaren's major sponsors, and it wouldnt surprise me if Honda were to go to Red Bull aswell, should they become more competitive post-McLaren. RB want works status, Honda could give them that if McLaren ditches them.
Posts: 193
Honda may very well be ready to supply Sauber. The question is whether the owners of Sauber want the Honda engines. Seems pretty clear that the first job for Vasseur is to pick an engine for 2018. Kaltenborn wanted a cheap engine, Longbow wants a competitive one.
SE calle.itw 16 Jul 2017 12:310
Posts: 4456
Pretty much. Problem for Sauber is that they doesnt seem able to properly utilize even an up to date and competitive engine, as we could see last year. So it seems like a cheap engine could be a wise move, at least for a while.
Posts: 193
I don't think it's fair to judge the team's abilities on the 2016 season. They had absolutely no resources to develop their package for most of that season. They're starting to put pieces in place to make better use of their facilities and having been stuck at the back of the grid for a few seasons now, if they don't make an aggressive choice on engines now to move up the grid, are they ever?

It seems the team was quite happy just to participate in F1 under the Kaltenborn regime (and in her defense, for most of her reign they were in full on survival mode), with Longbow now providing resources the goal has to switch to competing rather than participating. To then sign a multi-year deal with an inferior engine would mean three or more years running at the very back of the pack.

Given the amount of money Longbow are supposedly putting into this project, I don't see them cementing a place for the team as dead last for another three years.

Will be interesting to see if Longbow will flex some muscle and show some ambition by picking a more expensive and competitive engine. I'm quite sure they could be in the midfield battle on a regular basis if they had a powerful engine to work with.

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