MONTREAL, Canada -- Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn insists she has "no reason" to doubt incoming engine supplier Honda despite the manufacturer's seemingly hopeless situation with McLaren this year.
For the third year in a row Honda has delivered McLaren an uncompetitive and unreliable power unit and it is currently the only team below Sauber in the championship despite the Swiss outfit running a year-old Ferrari engine. Sauber is set to take up-to-date Honda engines for the 2018 campaign but it remains unclear whether it will have a fellow partner in the Japanese company's stable, with McLaren growing increasingly impatient and threatening an early divorce if progress is not seen soon.
When asked whether Honda's current dilemma made her doubt the decision to sign with Honda, Kaltenborn said: "No. We're not getting into that situation there, we have our one!
"We will have our own project with them. No, I've got no reason to doubt that because from what we've seen, we're confident they will get their act together. They have the people, they have all the tools you need to do that, and we still at least have some time. We all don't even know what's going to happen at this race, so how do we know what's going to happen at the first race in 2018?"
Kaltenborn believes it is important to look at how long it has taken any manufacturer to catch Mercedes since it made a dominant start to the V6 turbo era in 2014, with Ferrari rising to the top of the pecking order for the current season.
For us it's a much bigger picture, and we really don't have any reason to doubt that they will not manage to get over this. I can always say at 2014 how far we were away, and yet then throughout the winter time, Ferrari made a very big step. They also took a good three years you know to come to a competitive level with the most competitive power unit that we have. It takes its time, it takes a good three years, which they're also taking."
She also points to how much the sport changed between Honda's withdrawral in late 2008 and return in 2015, which meant it missed a full year of V6 turbo running.
"And also don't forget, and that's for us not so easy to assess, but all the other teams were in the sport, whereas Honda was not in the sport when they came back in. We know looking at just the chassis side how things change, even in a few years. We're not talking 10 years out of the sport and then you're back again. A lot of things change so quickly in this sport. Processes change, procurement processes change, suppliers change, all that kind of stuff. I think we should give them that chance and be fair and just see what happens."