The Sauber F1 Team will not use non-listed parts from Scuderia Ferrari in 2018, with Team Principal Frederic Vasseur feeling it is too late to incorporate them into the car.
The design of the 2018 car, which will have up-to-date Ferrari engines next season after running with a year-old power unit in 2017, has long been in development, and Vasseur feels that had the decision to remain with Ferrari been made sooner, then non-listed parts from the Italian team might have been an option.
“It is not an easy step also because we were already in the process to develop the car in the wind tunnel, and to take some parts from another car and add it to an ongoing project, it is not ideal,” said Vasseur to Autosport.
“It is not that you take the front axle of the Mercedes and the rear axle of the Red Bull that you will make a good car.
“For the future we can extend the parameters and have a much better approach if we sort the deal earlier in the season. But we have to consider that we did the move in the middle of July, it was very late, and I was really on the edge at this stage to think it was too late.
“We had already to feed the engine into the car, so I am not sure it makes sense.”
What Vasseur does not want to happen is to lose the ability to develop parts and cars in-house, and there is not much of a desire to become a complete Ferrari B team, feeling that it remains important that Sauber remain in control of their own design programme.
“I don’t want to lose the know-how, as it is one of the skills of the company, and I don’t want to lose the know-how of how we make the wishbones, or how we have to develop the car,” said Vasseur.
“We have to take care and find the right balance for this. If you have a short-term view, it is easy to say that it will be much better for Sauber to buy the parts [from Ferrari].
“But from the mid-term view or long-term view, if you want to develop your own project and perform, we don’t have to stop to have a good technology in-house.
“We will see for 2019 how it works and if we can develop, but for sure the collaboration with Ferrari will be a lot better next year, as last year was a bit complicated.
“I am not fully convinced that the future of Sauber is to become a Ferrari B-car. We have to develop our own project.”