Sauber F1 team rules out Haas-level Ferrari technical partnership

Sauber team principal Fred Vasseur has no interest in his outfit forming a Haas-style technical partnership with Ferrari, even if it becomes the Scuderia's effective junior Formula 1 squad

Sauber F1 team rules out Haas-level Ferrari technical partnership

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne suggested last month that it would make sense for Sauber to become a proving ground for Maranello's young drivers now its engine deal has been renewed.

But while Vasseur has spent recent weeks exploring the scope for increased collaboration with Ferrari, he sees no need for Sauber to follow Haas's lead in using as many Ferrari components as the rules allow.

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"They have their own collaboration with Ferrari and I have mine." Vasseur said of Haas.

"I don't want to compare or to say 'OK Haas are doing it like this'. It is not my issue at all.

"But we have to develop our own project with Ferrari.

"Our basic collaboration is based on the engine and the gearbox and we could extend to some other parts.

"But to be honest it is not so easy to take some parts from one car to another one."

He said the quality of Sauber's facilities, boosted by its years as BMW's factory F1 team, meant it needed less Ferrari support.

"I think the best compromise for us will be to be supported by Ferrari but we have a very strong facility, which is not the case for Haas," said Vasseur.

"We have probably one of the best windtunnels on the market and we have also to use our assets.

"At some stage we have to find the best compromise for the collaboration but I want to keep the lid on the development.

"I don't want to be just a B-team or a customer team."

Sauber pulled out of a planned Honda deal to renew its relationship with Ferrari, which new boss Vasseur saw as essential for moving up the grid.

He said the history of collaboration between the teams - with Sauber having run Ferrari engines from 1997 until its conversion to BMW after 2005, and then again since its revival as an independent team in 2010 - boded well for the future.

"There are a couple of guys in the company who know perfectly the situation at Ferrari, so it is probably much easier to start from this point," Vasseur explained.

"We have to build up the collaboration on the past historic story - it was important for us.

"It was the same between my friends at Enstone and Renault. They were successful in the past and it is important to try to rebuild something like this.

"Ferrari was really open to the discussion and collaboration."

Asked if the prospect of running Ferrari junior drivers such as Antonio Giovinazzi or Charles Leclerc put Mercedes protege Pascal Wehrlein's Sauber future in doubt, Vasseur replied: "We have no driver under contract so far, even with Ferrari it is not done.

"Everything is open. We will have to take a decision quite soon, for sure."

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