Sauber Formula One Team Confirms Use of Ferrari Engines for 2018
Sauber put a lid on that speculation before it could run out of control.
The Sauber Formula One team has confirmed that it will be using Ferrari engines for the 2018 season following the announcement Thursday that Sauber-Honda deal fell through.
This is a continuation of the pair's partnership that began in 1997, when Sauber first used Ferrari engines, and has since then been a consistent customer, save for those few strange years of BMW.
Sauber uses a 2016-spec Ferrari engine in its current car, which puts them at a significant disadvantage against opponents using current Mercedes and Ferrari engines. The exact power figures are not known to the public, but the engine in current service with Sauber is potentially behind even this year's Renault power unit. The only engine in use that trails Sauber's 2016 engine is the dumpster fire of a Honda engine in use by McLaren.
In spite of Sauber's recent history of weak chassis (now paired with a subpar engine,) the team has managed a handful of clutch points finishes between this season and last. A single P9 finish last year in a soaked Brazilian Grand Prix put them ahead of Manor in the Constructors' Championship, potentially saving the team. This year, a P8 in Spain and P10 in Azerbaijan keep the team relevant, thanks in part to Ruth Buscombe, their radical race strategist, who was also responsible for Haas' strong points finish in their maiden race.
Sauber's 2018 car, which we presume will be named the C37, may raise the stakes for other midfield teams with its competitive engine. Williams, Toro Rosso, Renault, and Haas are all separated by a mere 15 points, and once Sauber gets themselves back in the fight, feathers may fly.