Sauber boss Fred Vasseur was so opposed to the Swiss outfit's tentative deal with Honda that he scrapped it on his first day of work at Hinwil.
Monisha Kaltenbor, Sauber's former team principal who left the team in June of last year, has negotiated a supply deal with Honda for 2018, but Vasseur viewed the partnership as a hazard rather than a benefit based on the Japanese manufacturer's dismal performance with McLaren.
"I joined on July 17 at 9am, and the meeting [about Honda] was at 10am," Vasseur told Autosport.
"For me it was important. It is never easy to change the engine supplier first, but Honda was not in very good shape.
"Plus, and probably most important for me, we were linked to McLaren for the gearbox with absolutely no internal resources to do our own one.
"I was convinced, as I had some contacts at McLaren, that they would do their best to leave [Honda]. So I could not be in a position to risk that.
"Imagine today if I had to request the Honda gearbox from McLaren? It would be an absolute nightmare.
"Being in the process of working on our 2018 car, we were not able to postpone the decision."
Shortly after tearing up its agreement with Honda, Sauber agreed to extend its partnership with Ferrari, albeit with more favourable terms and the use of a current-spec power unit from Maranello.
The team also agreed to a commercial partnership with Fiat-Chrysler brand Alfa Romeo in early December, a move which only deepened Sauber's relationship with Ferrari.