Honda will supply engines to Sauber in 2018 Formula 1 season
Honda Motor announced signing of a new deal with Sauber Formula 1 Team to supply its power unit to the Swiss outfit from the 2018 season.
Reports of the new partnership has been talked about for months in the paddock, with Honda looking to expand its portfolio by adding another team to its rostrum.
Honda's Chief Officer, Brand and Communication Operations, Katsuhide Moriyama said: “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.”
Sauber's team principal Monisha Kaltenborn added: “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 technical partnership with Honda.
"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 as technical perspective. We thank Honda for making this great partnership happen."
Last year, Sauber were forced to sign a deal with Ferrari to use the 2016-spec of its power unit for this season. In 2018, the team will be using the latest spec of the Honda engine, much needed for them to challenge its immediate rivals.
Meanwhile, since Honda's return to F1 with McLaren, the manufacturer has come under widespread scrutiny for not making huge progress in its fight with Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.
With the addition of Sauber, it hopes to expand its R&D to attain valuable data so as to keep improve and take the challenge to other manufacturers.
[Image courtesy: Sauber F1 Team]