Sauber F1 Team Calls Off 2018 Honda Engine Deal For Reasons I Can't Quite Put My Finger On

Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein in Canada. Photo credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein in Canada. Photo credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The Sauber Formula One team, which currently runs Ferrari engines and is only a mere three points ahead of McLaren-Honda in the standings, was supposed to switch to Honda F1 engines in 2018. For reasons I cannot grasp, the series announced Thursday that Sauber called off the deal.

In the constructors’ championship standings, the Sauber team currently has five points to McLaren-Honda’s two. The leading Mercedes team has 330 points, but points are just numbers and do not determine your value as members of society. Write that on your bathroom mirror, McLaren-Honda.

Anyway, Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said it was “very unfortunate that [the team had] to discontinue the planned collaboration with Honda.” He said he wishes Honda the best, but that the decision was made “for strategic reasons” with “the best intent for the future of the Sauber F1 Team in mind.”

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Huh. I just cannot quite understand what Vasseur’s saying here, or what would lead him to believe that Honda is not a great or successful F1 engine supplier.

Maybe it was this?

Nah. No. Definitely cannot be that.

Or this?

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Nope. Not seeing any problems there.

Oh! I got it. Maybe this was the reason.

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Eh, that’s probably not it, either.

What a mystery this is!

Staff writer, Jalopnik

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DISCUSSION

It seems Honda didn’t like Kattleborn getting fired. Although I cannot understand why they would want her to stay on after her disastrous tenure.

Maybe Sauber wants to pursue that extra Merc engine slot that is open. Or take free or discounted engines from Ferrari in return for letting Giovinazzi have one of the seats.