Sauber-Honda partnership could extend beyond engine supply


Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn says that the Swiss outfit would be open to extending its collaboration with future engine partner Honda beyond the realm of its power unit supply deal.

Sauber recently inked an agreement with the Japanese manufacturer to become the second team on the grid in addition to McLaren to be powered by Honda from 2018.

While it is still early days, Kaltenborn could envisage a more extensive association with Honda compared to McLaren's limited relationship.

A cooperation which could include for example a contribution from the manufacturer's R&D department on chassis design.

"We'll see how it all pans put," Kaltenborn told

"We're really at the beginning now. I don't know their deals with McLaren. We are a very different project.

"We'll see where we can benefit from each other in this. We've been in situations where we were a manufacturer team – we're not a manufacturer team now, we're a customer to them.

"But we know that there are a lot of opportunities there, and this is one of the reasons why we decided for this partnership.

"It's far too early to say we'll be doing this and that, but yes, we're open to anything."

Obviously, should a two-way relationship take hold, Sauber would also be open to Honda placing one of its drivers with the Hinwill team.

"Like it always is in these cases, when you have a partner like this, whatever decisions you take, you discuss it with the partner," Kaltenborn said.

"We have done it no differently in the past, by the way. You listen to their opinions, you take advice.

"In the end it's the team responsibility. We are actually the team that has the last podium finish with a Japanese driver, and it was also in Japan! So that puts us in a very unique situation."

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