Sauber: We are open with our engine situation
Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn has revealed that her team are considering Formula 1 engine options for next year, however she insists that her team will not switch Honda power mid-season should McLaren terminate their agreement with the Japanese manufacturer.
With the Swiss team’s deal with Ferrari set to run until the end of this season, Racer asked Kaltenborn what the status is of a new engine deal, she replied, “We are talking – we are 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.”
With regards to a mid-season switch to Honda, Kaltenborn was adamant, “We have engaged no such talks for this season. We have our engine supply and we are going to be there. We would not [be interested in such talks]. Our situation is clear and we don’t need to change it because others have problems.”
Others being Honda and McLaren who are in a very strained situation due to woeful performances in testing and more recently at the season opener in Melbourne, but the official line from both organisations is that there are performance problems but they are committed to working together to sort things out.
Meanwhile, when asked about the possibility of Honda and McLaren going their separate ways, Honda’s F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa responded, “For me it’s not a fact, so I don’t care. Nothing has changed in the current situation [with McLaren]. It’s easy to deny because it’s just a rumor. Of course we don’t want to [switch].”
Talk doing the rounds in the Melbourne paddock was that Honda have Mario Illien doing work with the current power unit, coupled to speculation that the F1 engine guru is attending the FIA hosted engine meeting in Paris (today) as part of the Honda delegation.
But this appears to be off the mark because, when asked if Illien was working, helping or consulting for Honda regarding the F1 power unit, a spokesperson replied, “We are sorry but we don’t have any comment for any rumor about Mr. Illien’s recent job role.”