Marcus Ericsson is confident that the Sauber Formula 1 team has made the right decision by switching to Honda power units for the 2018 season, despite the Japanese manufacturer's ongoing struggles.

Honda returned to F1 as a power unit supplier in 2015 with McLaren, but has struggled for both performance and reliability over the past three years.

The problems have continued into the 2017 season after a redesign of the power unit that has left McLaren ailing at the back of the grid, sitting at the foot of the constructors' championship.

Sauber announced over the Russian Grand Prix weekend that it would be changing to Honda power units for 2018 after agreeing a multi-year deal, with Ericsson praising the decision.

"I think for the team it's a good step," Ericsson said. "Obviously looking at it now, it doesn't look so good, because Honda is having very big problems.

"But I think for longer-term it is the right decision for the team. I think there is potential there. But let's see this season first."

Honda was previously blocked by McLaren from supplying other teams in F1, with Sauber opting to stick with 2016-spec Ferrari power units for the current campaign, meaning it will enjoy no development updates through the year.

While Ericsson conceded that it may have been better for Sauber to be racing with Honda power units this year, he is still determined to make the best of the current situation.

"Maybe it would have been better to be with a Honda now and try and get that to work," Ericsson said. "Obviously four cars is making things better than two cars to develop. But it's all speculation.

"We have what we have now and we need to work hard with the Ferrari guys we have and try and always maximise the Ferrari power unit, because what happens next year, it's then.

"It's still a long season here and we still believe we can be fighting on certain tracks. I'm really looking forward to Barcelona because it should be a bit less engine efficient and we are also bringing a lot of updates there, so hopefully that should help us. Let's see where we are then."


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