Aston Martin confirms Honda as F1 engine partner from 2026 as Japanese manufacturer makes official return to sport – rezal404

Aston Martin will be powered by Honda from 2026

Aston Martin will be powered by Honda from 2026

Aston Martin have confirmed Honda will replace Mercedes as their engine supplier from 2026.

The announcement, which was made on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, confirms Honda’s full-time return to Formula 1 in line with the sport’s new engine regulations which come into effect that year.

The Japanese manufacturer formally left the sport at the end of the 2021 season, although it has continued to provide engines to Red Bull Powertrains – which powers the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams – in a deal that runs to the end of the 2025 season.

The exclusive deal also means Aston Martin will switch from being a customer team to having a works engine and is the latest step in owner Lawrence Stroll’s ambitious plans to become a title-contending outfit.

“I would like to welcome Honda and Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) to the Aston Martin Formula 1 Team,” Stroll said. “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.”

Aston Martin have been the surprise team of F1 2023 so far, picking up four podiums through Fernando Alonso and jumping from seventh to second in the constructors’ championship – ahead of current engine suppliers Mercedes.

The Silverstone-based team are about to move into their “game-changing” new factory while their new wind tunnel will be opening in the middle of next year and be impacting 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.

Lawrence Stroll believes Aston Martin's 'significant changes' have led to Aston Martin being in the fight this season

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Lawrence Stroll believes Aston Martin’s ‘significant changes’ have led to Aston Martin being in the fight this season

Lawrence Stroll believes Aston Martin’s ‘significant changes’ have led to Aston Martin being in the fight this season

“The new 2026 F1 power unit are regulations a huge and important change but one which we are confident we can navigate successfully together.

“Our future works 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.”

Honda complete F1 U-turn

Honda had been confirmed in February as one of six engine suppliers to sign up for Formula 1’s next generation of engines, which will run on sustainable fuels and have more electric power.

The company had announced in 2020 that it would be leaving F1 at the end of the 2021 season in order to “strive for the realization of carbon neutrality by 2050” with research and development into new power units and energy technologies.

However, F1’s new engine regulations, which will see a significant increase in the deployment of electrical power and the use of 100 per cent sustainable fuel, convinced the company that their own targets of carbon neutrality and increased electrification can be met while participating in the sport .

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.”

Red Bull's relationship with Honda will end at the end of the 2025 season

Red Bull’s relationship with Honda will end at the end of the 2025 season

Red Bull, who had been powered by Honda since 2019, took over the running of Honda’s engines under their new Red Bull Powertrains division in a deal running until the end of the 2025 season.

However, with Red Bull set to be ready to fully build their own engines from 2026, and having announced a new technical partnership with Ford from that season forward, Honda were left to seek a new partnership.

Honda claimed in February that they had been contacted by multiple F1 teams after signing up to the 2026 regulations, and their partnership with Aston Martin completes their comeback to F1 for a fifth stint.

Formula 1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali has welcomed Honda’s official return to the sport.

“It is great news for Formula 1 that Honda will partner with Aston Martin to supply power units from 2026,” Domenicali said.

“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.”

Honda chief Mibe also praised Domenicali’s management of the sport, along with governing body the FIA ​​​​for their roles in modifying the regulations.

He said: “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.”

Analysis: Why deal will transform Aston Martin

Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater…

“I think it transforms Aston Martin’s status within the sport, it changes the F1 landscape. They now become what is called a ‘works team’, they have the backing of an engine manufacturer, in this case Honda. So they can now look Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari in the eye and class themselves as equals in that regard.

“(Honda) are going to supply only Aston Martin power units from 2026 onwards. So that means when they’re designing the car at Aston Martin they know the shape of the power units, they can work with the engine more efficiently throughout the process to make sure everything works together neatly.

“This is a big moment for Aston Martin, this team went into liquidation in 2018, and what a job Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian billionaire, has done. It’s now worth in excess of probably a billion pounds, now they’ve got the backing of Honda.

“If you were to ask me which team is likeliest to succeed Red Bull as World Championships now, I think you’d have to throw Aston Martin into the mix, it’s that important.”

Formula 1 now heads to the streets of Monaco for the sixth Grand Prix of the 2023 season – watch all the action on Sky Sports F1 from May 26-28. Get Sky Sports