Honda power units have powered Max Verstappen to two-straight Drivers’ championships, and Red Bull to the Constructors’ title last season. But the contract between Honda and Red Bull is set to expire after the 2025 season, and Red Bull will enter the 2026 campaign in a new partnership with Ford.
However, that does not mean that Honda will be absent from the F1 world.
Honda and Aston Martin have announced a works partnership, under which the manufacturer will supply power units to the Silverstone-based F1 team starting in 2026.
Following Honda’s withdrawal from the F1 grid — which opened the door for the Ford-Red Bull partnership — the Japanese manufacturer expressed their interest to remain on the grid when the new regulations go into effect for the 2026 campaign. Following that expression of interest, Honda was linked with a few different teams, including Williams and McLaren.
Honda and McLaren had worked together in the past, during the 2015-2017 seasons, and while that relationship soured over reliability issues, there was a thought that the two organizations would be able to come together on a new power unit starting in 2026, allowing McLaren to shift away from relying on Mercedes for their power units.
In the announcement, Aston Martin stated that Honda “[w]ill supply power units to the team from the 2026 season, which are compliant with the new F1 power unit regulations that will come into force that year. The new regulations will see a significant increase in the deployment of electrical power and the use of 100 per cent sustainable fuel supplied by AMF1 Team strategic partner Aramco.”
Lawrence Stroll, the Owner and Executive Chairman of Aston Martin F1, welcomed the partnership. “I would like to welcome Honda and Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) to the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team. We share a mutual drive, determination, and relentless ambition to succeed on track,” said Stroll. “Honda is a global titan and its success in motorsport is longstanding and incredibly impressive. I would like to thank Mr. Mibe and Mr. Watanabe, and the whole team at HRC as we embark on this exciting future together from 2026.”
For Honda, the F1’s aim of energy sustainability was a massive draw in their return to the grid. “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,” said Honda Global CEO Toshihiro Mibe.
“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,” added Mibe. “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.”
The announcement comes as Aston Martin, who currently relies on Mercedes as the supplier of their power units for the AMR23, is enjoying a stunning start to the 2023 F1 season. Veteran driver Fernando Alonso has finished third in four of the five races this season, and his success has pushed the team to second in the Constructors’ Standings, behind only Red Bull.
While the team is dreaming of lofty success in the present, Mibe shares that same vision for the future.
“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,” added Mibe.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of F1, welcomed the partnership and pointed to F1’s move towards sustainable fuels. “It is great news for Formula One 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,” said Domenicali. “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.”