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Honda, Aston Martin to reignite partnership in 2026, Alonso onboard

Aston Martin is building a team to win, reconciling Honda and Fernando Alonso for F1 2026

Honda announces participation in F1 starting in the 2026 season (Photo: Twitter)

Honda announces participation in F1 starting in the 2026 season (Photo: Twitter)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Honda is to return to Formula 1 (F1) as engine partner to Aston Martin in 2026.

According to BBC and other media reports, Honda officially announced its re-entrance into F1 on Wednesday in Tokyo with Fernando Alonso onboard.

The company stated that they had no issue with Fernando Alonso racing for Aston Martin, while they supply its engines. The racer had criticised the Japanese auto manufacturer during their time together at McLaren.

Alonso joined Aston Martin this season, previously having won the F1 title with Renault in 2005 and 2006. According to a Reuters report, Martin Whitmarsh, the group CEO of performance at Aston Martin was happy with Alonso’s performance.

Whitmarsh, in the same report, stated that they had discussed the partnership with Alonso beforehand. Adding that as Honda had won the 2021 and 2022 world championship with Redbull, this would be a successful partnership for everyone involved.

As Alonso celebrates his 42 birthday this year, Whitmarsh stated the partnership was still in the “horizon” for Alonso, he hopes to have Alonso in the car to compete in 2026.

Honda had officially pulled out of F1 towards the end of 2021, however, continued to supply engines.

F1’s goal to ensure carbon neutrality by 2030 appears to be a key factor in Honda's decision to officially re-enter the partnership.

F1 has been using hybrid engines since 2014, however these new regulations, scheduled for 2026, will change their layout significantly. The BBC reports states that currently electrical power makes up 20 per cent less compared to the internal combustion engine, but the new regulation will require 50 per cent and above electrification.

In the same report, Koji Watanabe, the president of Honda Racing Corporation stated that the governing body of F1, Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) will mandate 100 per cent carbon-neutral fuel, hence the movement toward electrical power.

Under these regulations, the key to winning will be “a compact, lightweight and high-power motor with a high-performance battery that is capable of swiftly handling high power output as well as the energy-management technology”.

This infusion of carbon-neutral fuels matches the direction that Honda is moving towards, allowing the latter to hold a more prominent engine role.

According to an article on F1 website, Mercedes will continue to supply Aston Martin with power units, gear-box, and rear suspension till 2025, as it has done since its partnership in 2009. Honda’s partnership with Red Bull will come to an end in 2026 after which the latter will begin building its own engine in collaboration with Ford.

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First Published: May 24 2023 | 5:10 PM IST

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