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Honda speaking to "various" teams about 2018 engine deal

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Honda speaking to "various" teams about 2018 engine deal
By:
Apr 28, 2017, 3:16 PM

Honda says it is talking to ‘various’ teams about Formula 1 engine supply deals for 2018, after suggesting it could even supply three outfits.

Honda logo and nose detail of a McLaren MCL32
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C36
Yusuke Hasegawa, Head of Honda Motorsport
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director, Matt Morris, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32

While Honda has focused its efforts exclusively on McLaren since its 2015 comeback, it is understood that the Japanese manufacturer is in advanced talks with Sauber about a customer partnership for next year.

An announcement on that front could come as early as this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Although Honda’s F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa has drawn short of expanding on the specifics, he said in Sochi on Friday that his company was now convinced about the benefits of having more teams on board.

“From the start of this F1 activity we committed to support this [F1] society, so from that point of view it is our duty and we have to support multiple teams,” he said.

“And also we are thinking it will give us some benefit to the team, because we have more data and more chance to make the car running. So we don’t deny to have a second or third team.”

Pushed on which outfits Honda was holding discussions with, Hasegawa said: “We are talking with various teams but at this moment we unfortunately have nothing to say.”

Strained relationship

Honda remains focused for now on trying to turn around its situation with McLaren, and the Woking-based team’s engineering director Matt Morris admitted on Friday that things had not been easy since the troubles emerged.

Reflecting on McLaren’s relationship with Honda, Morris said: “Clearly it is a strained relationship, but actually it is a very strong relationship. I think things like this tend to bring you closer together.

"I think one of our biggest disappointments was we weren’t expecting to have all the reliability issues we had and that took some swallowing. But we got over that disappointment, we have all sat down like big boys, and discussed how we get ourselves out of this situation.

“We are doing everything we can to support Honda, and Honda has set itself some pretty bold targets for this year. If they deliver, it could be a very different story because we have got a decent chassis underneath us.

"If those two things come together then we might be talking about a different subject.”

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble