‘No’ Sauber-Honda deal this season


Monisha Kaltenborn has rubbished reports that Sauber will announce next month that they will change to Honda engines during this season.

Earlier this week, reports in Japan suggested that Sauber, who have a year-long Ferrari engine deal, will swap to Honda power during this year’s campaign after being offered the engines at bargain price.

Honda are believed to be keen to get a second team onboard, thus bringing in more data as they look to rebound after a disappointing return to Formula 1 with McLaren.

Sauber have refuted this.

Kaltenborn told RACER: “No, we have engaged in no such talks for this season. We have our engine supply and we are going to be there.

“No, we would not [be interested in such talks]. Our situation is clear and we don’t need to change it because others have problems.”

The team boss, though, did concede that Sauber are talking to Honda about a possible deal for 2018 and beyond.

“We are talking,” she said. “We are talking – we are open with our open with our engine situation and we have a couple of options.

“We know that we soon have to make a decision and we will, but we are not committed anywhere.”

As for Honda, the Japanese manufacturer’s head of F1 project Yusuke Hasegawa also denied that Honda would be supplying Sauber before the end of 2017.

Asked if the rumours were distracting, he told RACER: “I don’t care, for me it’s not a fact, so I don’t care. Nothing has changed in the current situation.

“It’s easy to deny because it’s just a rumor. Of course we don’t want to [switch].”