Honda will make their full-scale return to Formula One in 2026 after agreeing on a works partnership with Aston Martin.
The Japanese manufacturer will supply the team with engines, with new regulations coming in that year that is expected to shake up the running order once again.
Honda officially pulled out of Formula One at the end of the 2021 season, which saw them help Max Verstappen to his first World Championship title with Red Bull Racing. However, they have remained involved with the team ever since, with their engines being rebranded as ‘Red Bull Powertrains’ for 2022 and subsequently having the Honda name return in 2023.
Current driver, Fernando Alonso, has previous experience with Honda from his time at McLaren, something that he will hope won’t be repeated at Aston Martin should he remain with the team at that point. Honda have stated that they have no issue working with the two-time World Champion, who famously called the engine a ‘GP2 engine’ in frustration over it.
Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman, AMF1 Team, said:
“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.
“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.”
Toshihiro Mibe, Global CEO, Honda, said:
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“Honda has the utmost respect for the FIA, which made a bold decision to introduce these new and challenging regulations to ensure the sustainability of both racing activities and the global environment, and for the Formula One Group, which has been enhancing the brand value of F1 and ensuring F1’s evolvement as the most prestigious automobile racing in the world.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Group CEO, Aston Martin Performance Technologies, said:
“I have been fortunate in my career to work with Honda over the years and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with HRC and the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team from 2026.
“The new 2026 F1 power unit regulations are a huge and important change but one which we are confident we can navigate successfully together. Jointly with our strategic partner Aramco, we can look forward to open collaboration towards a common goal. Our future works partnership with Honda is one of the last parts of the jigsaw puzzle slotting into place for Aston Martin’s ambitious plans in Formula One.
“Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our current power unit supplier who we will continue to partner with for the next few seasons.”
Aston Martin will continue to use Mercedes engines as per their current agreement with the German manufacturer. They have made an impressive start to the season, currently second in the Constructors’ Championship.