It’s official: Aston Martin will carry Honda engines from the 2026 season, coinciding with the rule change, and will end its partnership with Mercedes that includes the purchase of the power unit, gearbox and rear suspension. “Honda and our new partner share the attitude and determination to win, so from that season we will work together to fight for the championship as Aston Martin Arameo Honda”, announced at dawn this Wednesday (in the morning in Japanese time) the CEO of the company, Toshihiro Mibe.
The Japanese officially exited F1 in 2022, although they remained linked to Red Bull as technical partners, and they justify this decision by the hybrid and sustainable nature of the World Cup: “One of the key reasons is that F1 wants to become a sustainable championship, it is in line with Honda’s objectives towards neutrality in the carbon footprint and it will be a platform to facilitate the development of electrification technologies”, says Mibe.
In the presentation participated Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin owner: “We share the determination and ambition to succeed on the track. Honda is a global titan.” And also the CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, martin whitmarshwho framed this movement within the “aggressive” strategy that also includes the signings of Alonso or Dan Fallows (technical director): “Anyone who has seen what has happened at Aston Martin in the last 18 months will know that we are aggressively signing the best talent, we are at the beginning of the process and I hope that people have seen steps forward in our performance. But we are humble, we have a lot to learn. In sports, without passion and the desire to win, you are not successful. We are at the pinnacle of motorsport and it is enormously competitive. We are here to win and the exciting thing is that we share that passion with Honda. They are winners. That is why we are attracted to this opportunity. We want to win in 2026 and consistently.”
The future and Alonso
During the press conference, Alonso’s name came up. In 2026 he will be 44 years old, although his competitiveness and ambition today is beyond doubt (he is third in the World Championship with four podiums in five races). Honda leaders were asked about “hurtful comments” at the time of the McLaren Honda debacle, back in 2015 and 2016, in reference to that “GP2 engine.” Toshihiro Mibe’s own response cannot settle the matter better: “The past is the past. Alonso is a super talented driver and we respect him enormously as a driver. About 2026, it’s in the future and we can’t say anything about the drivers, although the drivers’ decision rests with the team. We will take care of designing an engine that fits the configuration of the chassis”.
He also grabbed the microphone Koji Watanabe, Honda president: “We were in a very difficult moment, we did our best as a manufacturer of power units and that is why we came to win. Alonso is a genius as a driver, we respect him enormously. We will give suggestions to the team (about the pilots), there are Japanese pilots and we would like them to be candidates, but the decision rests with the team”. There is ambition to win, if Fernando is in the boat, better for everyone.