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Ford v Honda? Japanese automaker returning to Formula One with Aston Martin

Honda will provide power units for the Aston Martin F1 Team starting in the 2026 season, marking its return to the sport for the first time since 2021.

Honda just couldn't stay away from the action.

The Japanese automaker has announced that it will return to Formula One as the power unit supplier for the Aston Martin F1 Team in 2026.

That's the year the series is making a major change to its hybrid power unit formula, which also attracted Ford to enter the series at that time with Red Bull Racing.

Red Bull currently builds its own power units, which are based on a Honda design that the brand supplied through the 2021 season.


Formula One will be requiring the power units to use even more electrification and may switch to a zero-carbon synthetic fuel for the V6 internal combustion engines they are combined with.

"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 CEO Toshihiro Mibe said.

Aston Martin's cars are currently powered by Mercedes-AMG engines, as are the brand's road cars.


However, while the Aston Martin F1 Team's owner Lawrence Stroll is a shareholder in the automaker Aston Martin Lagonda and its executive chairman, the two are separate entities and no plans have been announced to incorporate Honda engines into the production models.

Yesterday’s announcement is focused on the future F1 powertrain unit partnership between Honda and the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team. AMR GP Ltd is a separate, privately-owned company and this new F1 relationship with Honda does not impact Aston Martin Lagonda’s plans or its future product strategy," Aston Martin told Fox News Digital.

"Mercedes is a shareholder in Aston Martin Lagonda and continues to enjoy a close, strategic relationship with the brand."

Audi will also be entering the series in 2026 in partnership with the Sauber team that currently works with Alfa Romeo, while Cadillac and Andretti Racing have applied to field a new team that would increase the number of cars on the grid from 20 to 22.

Honda has competed in Formula One on and off since 1964 and has collected six constructors championships and six driver's championships along the way, including Max Verstappen's drivers title in 2021.

Verstappen repeated in 2022 and Red Bull also claimed the constructors crown using the legacy Honda engines.

Aston Martin is having its best season ever in 2023.

It is second in the constructors championship through the first five races, with driver Fernando Alonso sitting in third place behind Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez.

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