Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn says she 'can only trust' the work Honda is doing to bring its power unit up to speed ahead of its engine partnership deal in F1 2018.

The privateer team will split from the long-held partnership it has enjoyed with Ferrari to join forces with Honda next season despite the Japanese firm struggling for pace and reliability with its V6 Hybrid at McLaren.

With McLaren yet to score a point this season and thought to be exploring an exit from its multi-year deal with Honda, Kaltenborn insists she is not concerned about walking into a problematic situation.

"We can only have the trust in them from what we've seen, from what they are doing, and we know from our own experience, look at 2014, it's very difficult if the engine is not competitive, and again there was nothing we at least could do as a team.

Indeed, Kaltenborn says Sauber is unable to offer much contribution to the engine side but ultimately believes it will allow Honda to focus on finding solutions itself and allow the team to concentrate on chassis development.

"We won't be able to contribute that much. That's also not the intention in the partnership. There's contact to try and find out [more when there is a problem], but more out of an interest perspective if there was something which went wrong what it was. But there's nothing that we can really do there.

"We don't have expertise on the power unit side. We can come in and do something valuable when it comes to interfaces. That's something where we can maybe do, but it's not our core business to make engines or whatever is associated to the power unit. So we're not going to go that way."

Save for the years 2006 - 2009 when Sauber competed as a BMW works team, the Swiss outfit ran Ferrari customer units between 1996 and 2005, then again between 2010 and 2017. It has also used Ilmor/Mercedes power in 1993 and 1994, before switching to Ford for two seasons in 1995 and 1996.



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