Honda officially confirmed its entry into Formula-1 in 2026 with Aston Martin. Thanks to 2026 new engine regulations, the Japanese manufacturer got a chance to re-enter F1 after quitting in 2021. However, they are still associated with Redbull as a power unit support deal that will be active until the end of 2025. Honda had a very successful stint with Redbull Racing as Max Verstappen achieved the drivers' World Championship title.
Why did Aston Martin Choose Honda?
Aston Martin has been in partnership with Mercedes since 2009, as their sole supplier of power units, along with technical support for various other mechanical components. However, things are about to change as Aston Martin's Lawrence Stroll believes, "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."
Moreover, Aston Martin has an ambitious target in F1 from 2026. They have even built their own R&D facility and recruited technical experts to be well prepared in advance with better cars. If they continue to work with Mercedes, they will never be able to achieve more than Mercedes. "The nature of F1 is, if you want to win, it means beating Mercedes and it's extremely difficult to beat an organisation as good as Mercedes if you're reliant on them for intellectual property, facilities and components.We are here to win. Therefore, you have got to have the complete integration of facilities and approaches. It's very difficult to win consistently championships without a full works relationship, which is why we have decided and are delighted to have a fantastic partner like Honda.
Why did Honda Choose Aston Martin?
On the other hand, Honda's deal with Redbull will come to an end as Redbull is developing its state-of-the-art facility, wherein it will develop its own in-house power unit division in collaboration with American giant - Ford. All these scenarios give it a chance to Honda to make its way into F1 in 2026 by collaborating with Aston Martin.
Benefits For Honda?
Honda's entry into F1 will help them unlock the true potential of R&D for their future vehicles. Even Honda officials say, "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.
Aston Martin believes, "It's clear to us and to Honda that the 2026 F1 regulations will require the full integration of chassis and PU that only a full works team relationship delivers. To have this partnership puts us in a position to compete for championships. It's clear from everything we've seen from Honda in the past, from our recent learnings, from being in conversation the last few weeks, that they have a huge passion, they are racers, they want to win. That's what they are in this sport to do. And that's fantastic because that's exactly our goal."