ENGINES: SAUBER PETRONAS ENGINEERING

Name: Sauber Petronas Engineering

At the end of 1996, having been dropped by the Ford Motor Company, the Sauber team reached agreement with Ferrari to use its 1996-spec 046 V10 engines in 1997. These would be paid for by the Malaysian oil company Petronas and would be developed by a company called Sauber Petronas Engineering at Hinwil, although the preparation of the engines was carried out in workshops in Maranello, independent of the main Ferrari competition department. This facility was staffed by engineers from the Ferrari F1 and sportscar programs and from the defunct Alfa Romeo International Touring Car team.

Osamu Goto, who had been head of the Honda F1 program in the early 1990s, moved from Ferrari to head the program in Switzerland. The longterm aim was for the company to design and build its own V10 engines for the 1999 season. At the same time the company began work on the design of production car engines for the Malaysian national car company Proton. These engines were completed in 1999 in time for the first Malaysian Grand Prix, but the F1 engine program was badly disrupted by the economic crisis which hit Asia in 1998 and the team announced that summer the plans for an all-new V10 had been postponed indefinitely. The Ferrari deal continues to be extended each year and there seem to be no revival of the plan for the company to build its own engines.

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