Sauber Formula 1 team has spoken with Honda over 2018 engine supply

Honda and Mercedes are candidates to power the Sauber Formula 1 team in 2018, if it moves away from current supplier Ferrari, team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has confirmed

Sauber Formula 1 team has spoken with Honda over 2018 engine supply

Other than four seasons under BMW's ownership between 2006 and '09, the Swiss outfit has run Ferrari F1 engines since 1997, but is evaluating its options for next year.

Sauber was first linked with a second supply of Honda power units last year, and speculation it could even become Honda's main entry has intensified since a possible McLaren switch back to Mercedes was mooted.

Asked by Autosport about the team's contact with Honda, Kaltenborn made it clear that no decision has been made.

"All I can tell you is, yes, we have had discussions with them," Kaltenborn said.

"But we are open on our engine situation. I think we have a couple of options.

"We know that a call has to be made soon. We know that, and of course the sooner you have clarity, the better for development."

A second Honda supply is likely to be more commercially attractive for Sauber than paying the market rate for its year-old Ferrari engines, and if McLaren goes elsewhere it would be well-placed to become heavily sponsored.

"It depends what we finally agree on," Kaltenborn added.

"We really have all the ways open."

The appeal to Honda would be that Sauber still has a top class facility in Hinwil from its BMW days, and that even if staffing levels have fallen since its exit at the end of 2009, there is potential for the team to progress.

Unlike McLaren, Sauber would also be potentially amenable to taking a Japanese driver as part of a deal, such as Honda protege and Formula 2 racer Nobuharu Matsushita.

Pascal Wehrlein's 2017 Sauber drive also opens up the possibility of a part-subsidised Mercedes supply, following a similar deal for Manor to run the German and Esteban Ocon last year.

However that would in effect be a short-term arrangement, with Wehrlein unlikely to stay at Sauber for more than two or three seasons.

"It's also a possibility," Kaltenborn said of Mercedes.

"Like I said, we have a couple of options, and we are simply not decided."

A decision time for Sauber is looming, though, with manufacturers required to notify the FIA of the teams it wishes to supply before May 6.

shares
comments
Formula 1 too complex, expensive and reliable, FIA boss Todt feels
Previous article

Formula 1 too complex, expensive and reliable, FIA boss Todt feels

Next article

Under the skin of Honda’s latest F1 saga

Under the skin of Honda’s latest F1 saga
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022