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Honda wants an answer from Sauber

  • Published on 23 Jul 2017 14:01
  • comments 7
  • By: Mason Hawker

Honda's F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa has said that he wants Sauber to confirm its engine plans for 2018 as soon as possible, amid significant speculation that a deal between the two parties for next season has collapsed following Monisha Kaltenborn's recent departure from the Swiss team.

It was during the Russian Grand Prix weekend in April that Sauber announced its new partnership with Honda, something that Kaltenborn had initiated and overseen. Disagreements with the team's owners Longbow Finance saw her leave in June, however, and this event quickly gave rise to rumours of a split.

Kaltenborn's successor as Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur, began work at the squad on Monday, reportedly with the Honda situation at the top of his list of priorities. Nevertheless, the uncertainty shows no sign of going away - and Honda and Hasegawa need clarification. When asked how quickly the Japanese company needed to know about the state of the deal, Hasegawa told Racer: "Now. As soon as possible.

"We cannot wait for next year's preparations so we are working on it already and we really need to fix (a decision). From the plan point of view we are already working on (being ready for the Sauber supply in 2018). So we need to fix the plans, but we will just continue as we are for now. So far, no change."

Sauber is racing in 2017 with a year-old Ferrari power unit, supposedly because Longbow Finance wishes to focus on a company-wide restructure following its arrival at the helm last year. With regards to 2018, it is said to be significantly wary of the consequences a Honda power unit could bring the team after the supplier's lack of success with McLaren, and has apparently made Mercedes and Ferrari engines available should they be needed.

 

Mason Hawker

Replies (7)

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  • If they enter into this deal with Honda, they know what will await them. They have an opportunity to get out now, and they should take it!

    • + 0
    • Jul 23 2017 - 14:24
    • Im not sure anyone know, really. And from Sauber's POV, it could be a win either way if they go with Honda PUs: the deal would be significantly cheaper compared to continuing with Ferrari, and could provide them with cash from accepting a Honda-linked driver, even if it would just be for test drives. Sauber has over the last years not been able to be competitive even with the second most powerful PU, so if they at least get a cheaper PU, it would reduce costs for them.

      In short: if they switch to Honda, they could at best end up with a cheaper but still competitive engine (assuming Honda get the job done in 2018, not the "at best"), and at worst they would end up last, but would still come out better compared to if they came last with a Ferrari deal.

      • + 1
      • Jul 23 2017 - 16:32
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      I agree. It's a gamble but it could pay off handsomely! What have they got to lose?

      • + 0
      • Jul 23 2017 - 17:34
    • Nothing really, the way I see it. But, as I've said before, I am a semi-rabid Honda fan, I am bound to see it that way. ;)

      • + 0
      • Jul 23 2017 - 17:48
  • Barron

    Posts: 625

    I have to say, this is one of the fascinations with F1. You never know what you're going to get, or, what is just around the corner. For many, this uncertainty is a turn off but for me, it's what makes F1 so unique in both sporting and business aspects. I love it!

    • + 3
    • Jul 23 2017 - 17:40
    • Same here, you just never know for sure what'll happen, be it on track or off track, and thats the sort of spark many other motor series lack IMO.

      • + 1
      • Jul 23 2017 - 17:50
  • I am guessing it's about money, the delay, as it's a win, win for Sauber on this one, they at the back with no sponsors as it is.....

    • + 0
    • Jul 24 2017 - 00:05

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