Honda returns to Formula 1 as official engine supplier for Aston Martin

Honda has made an official announcement stating that it will supply power units to Aston Martin in the 2026 Formula 1 season. This marks Honda’s return to the world of Formula 1 after withdrawing from the championship in 2021.

The decision for Honda to re-enter Formula 1 was influenced by the new 2026 regulations, which emphasize the use of more electrical power and fully sustainable fuel. These regulations played a significant role in enticing Honda back into the championship. The partnership between Honda and Aston Martin is expected to yield exciting results in the future.

After a seven-year stint in Formula 1, Honda made the decision to exit the sport at the end of the 2021 season, coinciding with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen winning his first title. While Red Bull’s strong performance may have tempted Honda to continue its involvement in Formula 1, the decision to leave had already been made. However, a deal was reached in which Honda would supply power units to Red Bull under the newly-formed Red Bull Powertrains division.

With the agreement set to expire at the end of 2025 and Red Bull forming a partnership with Ford from 2026, Honda actively sought new opportunities. This led to their collaboration with Aston Martin, whose existing partnership with Mercedes for power units will conclude in 2025.

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Martin Whitmarsh, Group CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating, “Our future works partnership with Honda is one of the final pieces falling into place for Aston Martin’s ambitious plans in Formula 1.”

The new engine regulations that will be implemented from 2026 will eliminate the complex MGU-H system. In compensation for the loss of the MGU-H, the MGU-K, which recaptures energy under braking, will generate three times more electrical power. These new power units will also utilize fully sustainable fuel. Additionally, the combination of car modifications and increased electrical power will result in reduced fuel consumption.

Honda cites this renewed focus on sustainability as a key factor in their return to Formula 1. Toshihiro Mibe, Global CEO of Honda, explained, “One of the main reasons for our decision to embrace this new challenge in Formula 1 is that the pinnacle of racing is striving to become a sustainable series, aligning with Honda’s commitment to carbon neutrality and providing a platform for the development of our electrification technologies.”

Honda believes that the expertise gained from participating in Formula 1 will play a significant role in the development of their future electric vehicles. Mibe emphasized, “With the new 2026 regulations, the key to success will be a compact, lightweight, and high-power electric motor, accompanied by a high-performance battery capable of handling rapid and powerful energy output, as well as advanced energy management technology. We believe that the knowledge and technology acquired from this new challenge can directly contribute to the production of our future mass-market electric vehicles.”

The return of Honda to Formula 1 as an engine supplier for Aston Martin marks an exciting development in the world of motorsport. Both Honda and Aston Martin are expected to bring their expertise and innovation to the championship, further enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of the sport.