(Motorsport) Formula 1 team Aston Martin have announced that Honda will replace Mercedes as their engine supplier from 2026. The announcement was made ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix and has confirmed Honda’s full time return in Formula 1 after they formally left the sport in 2021. The Japanese manufacturer continued to provide engines to Red Bull Powertrains for Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams, but that contract will end in 2025.
The deal between Aston Martin and Honda is an exclusive one, which means that the Formula 1 team will switch from being a customer team to having a works engine and is the right step in owner Lawrence Stroll’s ambitions to develop a title contending team. Speaking about that partnership, Stroll said “I would like to welcome Honda and Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) to the Aston Martin Formula 1 Team. We share a mutual drive, determination, and relentless ambition to succeed on track. Honda is a global titan and its success in motorsport is longstanding and incredibly impressive.”
Nobody would have predicted Aston Martin to progress as much as they have from the 2022 to the 2023 season. They have already secured four podiums and jumped from seventh to second in the Constructors Championship, ahead of engine suppliers Mercedes. They are now set to move into their new factory and their new wind tunnel will open next year, which could make a significant difference in their car development from 2025.
Aston Martin Performance Technologies chief executive Martin Whitmarsh added: “I have been fortunate in my career to work with Honda over the years and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with HRC and the Aston Martin Formula 1 team from 2026. The new 2026 F1 power unit regulations are a huge and important change but one which we are confident we can navigate successfully together. Our future work partnership with Honda is one of the last parts of the jigsaw puzzle slotting into place for Aston Martin’s ambitious plans in Formula One. Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our current power unit supplier who we will continue to partner with for the next few seasons.”
The decision to re-join Formula 1 has been a surprising one from Honda, who had announced their intention to leave the sport in 2021 to “strive for realisation of carbon neutrality by 2050”. However, Formula 1’s new engine regulations will see a significant increase in deployment of electrical power and use 100% sustainable fuel, which has played a big role in Honda’s target of carbon neutrality. The Japanese manufacturer had claimed in February that they had been contacted by multiple Formula 1 teams and it will be their fifth stint in the sport, this time with Aston Martin.
Honda chief executive Toshihiro Mibe said: “One of the key reasons for our decision to take up the new challenge in F1 is that the world’s pinnacle form of racing is striving to become a sustainable racing series, which is in line with the direction Honda is aiming toward carbon neutrality, and it will become a platform which will facilitate the development of our electrification technologies.
“Honda is a company that has a history of growing by taking on challenges and winning world-class races. With the new 2026 regulations, the key for winning will be a compact, lightweight, and high-power electric motor with a high-performance battery capable of handling high and swift power output, as well as the energy management technology.
“We believe that the technologies and know-how gained from this new challenge can potentially be applied directly to our future mass production electric vehicles, such as an electric flagship sports model, and electrification technologies in various areas, including eVTOL which is currently under research and development.
“Honda and our new partner, the Aston Martin F1 Team, share the same sincere attitude and determination to win, so starting with the 2026 season, we will work together and strive for the Championship title as Aston Martin Aramco Honda.
“Honda has the utmost respect for the FIA, which made a bold decision to introduce these new and challenging regulations to ensure the sustainability of both racing activities and the global environment, and for the Formula One Group, which has been enhancing the brand value of F1 and ensuring F1’s evolvement as the most prestigious automobile racing in the world.”
Formula 1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali said “It is great news for Formula 1 that Honda will partner with Aston Martin to supply power units from 2026. This is further evidence that our global platform and growth provides brands with huge potential, and it also shows that our plans to move to sustainable fuels in 2026 is the right approach to offer the automotive world alternative solutions to decarbonise the planet. We can all see the incredible commitment Aston Martin has made to our sport and we can’t wait to see the exciting partnership in action, and I want to congratulate both parties on this exciting news.”
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