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Honda will supply the Sauber Formula 1 team with power units for 2018, ending a long-standing relationship with Ferrari.

The Swiss team have used Ferrari power since 1997–aside from a brief period where they became the BMW factory team in the mid 2000’s–but have struggled to find any kind of form in recent seasons, using a year-old Ferrari unit.

The relationship is hoped to aid both Sauber and Honda in their quest to return to the front of the grid and Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn is excited about the multi-year partnership.

“It is a great honor for the Sauber F1 Team to be able to work together with Honda in the coming seasons,” said Kaltenborn.

“Our realignment is not just visible through the new ownership but also now with our new technological partnership with Honda. We have set another milestone with this new engine era, which we await with huge excitement and of course we are looking for new opportunities.

For Honda, who have also been struggling since making a return to the championship in 2015, the opportunity to add another team to their portfolio was something that could not be turned down. With reliability a huge issue, the extra testing mileage that will open up to the Japanese manufacturer will be invaluable.

“This will be a new challenge in Honda’s F1 activities,” said Katsuhide Moriyama – Honda Motor Racing Company’s chief officer of brand and communications.

“In order to leverage the benefits of supplying to two teams to the maximum extent, we will strengthen the systems and capabilities of both of our two development operations, namely HRD Sakura and the operation in Milton Keynes.

“We will continue our challenges so that our fans will enjoy seeing a Honda with dominant strength as soon as possible.”

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