The Sauber Formula 1 team has confirmed that it will join forces with Honda from 2018, enjoying a power unit supply from the Japanese manufacturer as part of a multi-year technological partnership.
Sauber has faced an uncertain future in F1 since BMW ended its factory support at the end of 2009, with the team working with Ferrari as a customer outfit from 2010 onwards.
Sauber was saved from collapse after a takeover by Longbow Finance last summer, and has taken another big step towards securing its long-term future by agreeing a deal to be powered by Honda.
“This extensive strategic and technological realignment creates a new basis for the team,” a statement from Sauber reads.
“This Swiss-Japanese partnership will certainly unveil future opportunities for the Sauber F1 Team and Honda, and constitutes a cornerstone for our F1 future. The Sauber F1 Team thanks Ferrari for many years of collaboration in good as well as difficult times.”
The deal marks Honda’s first foray into a multi-team supply in F1 since 2008, having solely powered McLaren for the past three years after returning to the sport.
“It is a great honor for the Sauber F1 Team to be able to work together with Honda in the coming seasons. Our realignment is not just visible through the new ownership but also now with our new technological partnership with Honda,” Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said.
“We have set another milestone with this new engine era, which we await with huge excitement and of course we are looking for new opportunities.
“We very much look forward to our partnership with Honda, which sets the course for a successful future, from a strategic as well as from a technological perspective. We thank Honda for making this great partnership happen.”
Katsuhide Moriyama, chief officer, brand and communication operations, at Honda added: “In addition to the partnership with McLaren which began in 2015, Honda will begin supplying power units to Sauber as a customer team starting from next year. This will be a new challenge in Honda’s F1 activities.
“In order to leverage the benefits of supplying to two teams to the maximum extent, we will strengthen the systems and capabilities of both of our two development operations, namely HRD Sakura and the operation in Milton Keynes.
“We will continue our challenges so that our fans will enjoy seeing a Honda with dominant strength as soon as possible.”