24th May 2023 – (Tokyo) Japanese manufacturer Honda will become Aston Martin’s engine partner in Formula One (F1) starting in 2026, replacing Mercedes, who currently provides the team’s engines. Honda officially withdrew from F1 in 2021 but has continued to provide engines to Red Bull, who will be joining forces with Ford from 2026 under a technical support deal that runs until 2025.
Aston Martin’s group CEO of performance technologies, Martin Whitmarsh, praised Honda’s track record, having won the 2021 and 2022 world championships with Red Bull, and said Honda was a great partner for them. He also acknowledged that Fernando Alonso, who won his F1 titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, is currently enjoying a late-career renaissance with Aston Martin, with four third places in five races.
Alonso joined Aston Martin this season, and Honda Racing Corporation President Koji Watanabe said they would not object to Alonso racing with the team when they supply the engines in 2026, despite the Spaniard’s past criticism of Honda when they were at McLaren. Alonso embarrassed Honda at their home Japanese Grand Prix in 2015 when he referred to the McLaren having a “GP2 engine.” In March 2017, he declared that the power unit was their only problem, citing “no reliability and no power.”
Watanabe, however, said that Honda had no objections to Alonso driving for Aston Martin in 2026, and that they respected the driver’s talent and accomplishments. While Alonso is turning 42 in July, Whitmarsh hoped that the Spaniard would continue racing for several more years, and even possibly be in the car in 2026.