Sauber F1’s new boss Frederic Vasseur confirmed in Hungary that he has called off the planned customer engine deal with Honda and Ferrari has reached a multi-year deal to become Sauber’s F1 engine supplier.
The Swiss based squad has been using one-year-old Ferrari engines, the team will compete with new engines as from next year.
“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,” Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said.
“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.”
In a statement, Vasseur said the 2018 Honda deal has been called off for “strategic reasons”.
“It is very unfortunate that we have to discontinue the planned collaboration with Honda at this stage,” said Vasseur, who recently replaced Monisha Kaltenborn.
“However, this decision has been made for strategic reasons, and with the best intent for the future of the Sauber F1 Team in mind. We would like to thank Honda for their collaboration, and wish them all the best for their future in Formula One.”
Honda’s motorsport manager Masashi Yamamoto said Honda “had been looking forward to entering the 2018 F1 season together” with Sauber but that “during discussions after management changes at the team, we reached a mutual agreement to call off the project due to differences in the future directions of both parties.”
Sauber is next-to-last in the constructors’ championship, with German driver Pascal Wehrlein scoring all the team’s five points. His best result was a commendable eighth place at the Spanish GP in May,
Ferrari’s new deal may increase Sauber’s chances of holding onto the highly rated Wehrlein, a member of the Mercedes young driver program, for next year. He recently said he is keeping his options open for 2018.