Sauber’s planned Formula One partnership with troubled engine maker Honda from 2018 has been cancelled, the Swiss-based team said in a statement at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Thursday.
Sauber, who currently use a year-old Ferrari power unit, said a new engine partner would be announced soon.
“It is very unfortunate that we have to discontinue the planned collaboration with Honda at this stage,” said newly-hired team principal Frederic Vasseur, who was previously the Renault team boss.
“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 said in a statement: “This project, that originated after an initial proposal from Sauber, has been called-off due to differences in the future direction between Honda and Sauber, recognized during the preparation process for power unit supply systems.”
With Honda motorsport GM Masashi Yamamoto adding, “We had built a good relationship with Sauber, and had been looking forward to entering the 2018 F1 season together.”
“However, 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.”
“We would like to thank Sauber for their cooperation, and wish them all the best for their future. Despite this announcement, Honda’s passion for motorsports and strong commitment to Formula One remains unchanged,” concluded Yamamoto.