After fears that Honda would not return to F1 following their departure from Red Bull Racing, it has emerged that the Japanese firm will be supplying engines to Aston Martin as of the 2026 season.
The news, first rumoured by Italian news outlets earlier this week, has now been confirmed and the Japanese outfit will remain on the grid, keeping its place alongside Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpine and, arriving at the same time, Ford.
Aston Martin are currently supplied by Mercedes but the Lawrence Stroll operated outfit are keen to move on. Aston Martin will need to work with the Mercedes engine through 2025, though, as the deal extends into the next few seasons. It is unknown whether Aston Martin will also look elsewhere for their gearbox and suspension, as they are also supplied by Mercedes at present. Signs point to Aston Martin bringing this in house too so that the team can operate independent of any other manufacturer.
A separation from Mercedes and having (at time of writing) an exclusive engine supplier will allow Aston Martin to be more creative with their setups, as they’ll be in full control of the direction. The chances of success for Aston Martin’s team goal of contending for championships within five years, set in 2021, has been greatly advanced by the new deal. The decision is also a significant turnaround for Honda, who left Formula 1 at the end of 2021, just as it introduced what was regarded as the greatest engine on the grid.
The 2023 season is off to an exceptionally competitive start for Aston Martin, who are now second in the constructors’ standings behind Red Bull after Fernando Alonso’s four third place finishes in five races. This weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, which should play to Alonso’s strengths, offers a real chance for him to win a Formula 1 race for the first time in ten years.