Sauber have announced that their planned partnership with engine manufacturer Honda from the 2018 season onward has been cancelled due to “strategic reasons”.
A deal between the two parties was agreed when Monisha Kaltenborn was in charge of Sauber, who were preparing to move away from their Ferrari collaboration in which they were supplied with one-year-old engines.
But, following the arrival of new team principal Frédéric Vasseur, the proposed partnership has been reviewd and subsequently cancelled.
“It is very unfortunate that we have to discontinue the planned collaboration with Honda at this stage,” said Vasseur.
“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.”
The short statement said that a new engine supplier would be announced ‘shortly’.
Honda also confirmed the news via a brief press release, which stated that the Japanese firm remain committed to Formula 1 despite the break-up.
“We had built a good relationship with Sauber, and had been looking forward to entering the 2018 F1 season together,” said Masashi Yamamoto, General Manager of Honda’s Motor Sport Division.
“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.”