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Fernando Alonso

Alonso offers Honda olive branch ahead of 2026 reunion

The two-time World Champion will reunite with Honda in 2026 as part of his new Aston Martin deal.

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Fernando Alonso has spoken warmly of Honda after announcing his two-year contract extension with Aston Martin.

Alonso took himself off the driver market on Thursday by penning a new two-year deal to remain with Aston Martin until the end of the 2026 season, with the team to join forces with Honda in the second of those years.

Both Alonso and Honda were badly bruised by their three-year stint at McLaren between 2015-2017 with the Japanese manufacturer struggling to master the turbo hybrid power units, although McLaren itself was not at fault with its size zero packaging proving troublesome.

Alonso memorably described Honda's power unit as a "GP2 engine" in front of top brass at the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix as the relationship broke down.

Honda then joined Toro Rosso before teaming up with Red Bull in 2019, propelling Max Verstappen to the 2021 title before withdrawing.

However, it quietly then re-entered F1 in mid-2022 and is a partner to Red Bull, but is to return as a full-works supplier in '26 with the upwardly-mobile Aston Martin, with Alonso keen to move on and sing Honda's praises.

Alonso on Honda

"Yeah I saw them – not in Suzuka, but a few months ago," Alonso told media including RacingNews365 of talks with Honda.

"I have a great love for Japan and the things they do there. I think the level of discipline and the level of commitment that they have is just on another level, generally in Japan, but it translates to Honda.

"I worked with Toyota as well in the World Endurance Championship and I am very familiar with that kind of discipline.

"I think 2026, we are going into the unknown for sure in terms of regulations, but if I had to choose one, by feeling, I would choose our project and our engine and our power unit.

"One, because I think they are dominating the sport now, and they have a very strong engine for Red Bull and [RB], and two, with the new fuels and the new regulations they will have all the tools available to succeed. This is how I feel."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

McLaren-Honda

As well as the failure of their F1 partnership, Honda and Alonso also teamed-up for the 2017 Indianapolis 500, where he was in contention for the win before a late engine failure.

The 32-time grand prix winner believes Honda has now "fixed" its problems.

"Honda is definitely a manufacturer that has so much success in Formula 1 and not [just] Formula One – in the world of motorsport that is always a company that I respected," he added.

"It didn’t work for us in McLaren, in the years that they came to the sport, but, right after that, they fixed all the problems and they are currently dominating the sport.

"They’ve been world champions for the last few years. So I think they will have a baseline for 2026 that is already very strong.

"They also have the capacity in Sakura to build something nice. I visited Sakura in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and I haven't visited yet at the moment, but I know that they are really motivated there.

"Obviously, with the sustainable fuels that we will have in 2026, this is something that also I would love to experiment with.

"I see a win-win situation and I respect a lot of the Japanese culture. We just came from Japan, it is a special race, [I always have] a special helmet when I race in Japan, [I have] a Samurai tattoo on my back.

"There are a lot of links always with Japan and in 2026 it is appealing.

"Afterr the experience with McLaren-Honda and IndyCar as well, we have now the opportunity to work again together. That for me is a true pleasure."

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