Honda eyeing engine customer for 2018 – Boullier

Apr.21 (GMM) Honda could finally be set to add a customer team to its beleaguered F1 engine supply programme.

Since the struggling Japanese carmaker re-entered the sport in 2015, there have been rumours of customer deals, including with Red Bull and Sauber.

But works partner McLaren has had ‘veto’ power, and former team supremo Ron Dennis has insisted on exclusivity.

That could be about to change.

Honda is struggling more than ever in 2017, amid the latest rising speculation that a customer deal with Sauber is on the cards for next year and seen as an easy way to effectively double the data needed to improve.

Asked if the road is now clear for a ‘customer’ Honda team, McLaren team boss Eric Boullier said: “I think so.

“We will provide support in finding a customer,” the Frenchman is quoted by the Swiss newspaper Blick.

Boullier explained: “This year, Honda would not have been able. Everybody would have been weakened. But now things are different.”

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