After months of speculation, Honda and Sauber are set to announce an engine supply deal that will see Sauber switch from their year old Ferrari engines, to that of the Japanese manufacturer from 2018. A long term deal is expected to be announced.
After new investors were bought into Sauber in mid 2016, the team have restructured and have set about a path of financial – and track – recovery. It is widely believed that the provision of Honda engines will lead to both for the Swiss outfit.
Honda re-joined the ranks of Formula One in 2015 and the partnership with McLaren to date has been a painful one. However the expansion of the Honda engine facility at Milton Keynes means that the supply of another team is feasible – and beneficial. The additional development opportunities – currently limited to just the McLaren chassis – would mean Honda would have more than a fighting chance to get back up the front of the grid – a place they rightly belong with such a rich motorsport pedigree.
May 6th is the deadline that engine manufacturers must inform the FIA as to which team they will supply for the 2018 Formula One Season. With Sauber’s frustrations at running year old (and increasingly unreliable) engines and McLaren looking for a huge step towards the front of the grid, the supply of engines to Sauber seems a win-win for all.