Honda have confirmed they will return to F1 as an official power unit supplier in 2026 and will join forces with Aston Martin.
The Silverstone-based outfit will become the de facto Honda works team and will be known as Aston Martin Aramco Honda, as they push towards their goal of challenging for F1 titles.
Honda pulled out of the sport at the end of 2021 to focus on their own environmental goals, which involved a reshuffling of personnel to be deployed in different areas of the business.
But the Japanese manufacturer has remained in touch with F1 through a technical partnership with Red Bull, continuing to manufacture and assemble power units to the Milton Keynes-based team as they gear up to produce their own powertrains from 2026 with support from Ford.
F1 are introducing new power unit regulations from 2026 to align with a new set of sustainability goals, with the inclusion of carbon-neutral fuels and a greater focus on electrical power output ratios, and the new regulations have prompted Honda to take the decision to rejoin the grid in an official capacity with Aston Martin.
RacingNews365.com understands Aston Martin had explored a partnership with Audi, with the German manufacturer joining the grid in 2026 in partnership with Sauber. However, it is understood Aston Martin decided against a potential switch to Audi over concerns surrounding the German marque's readiness to supply customer teams.
The move to enter a partnership with Honda in a works fashion provides the opportunity for full integration between chassis and power unit and takes away the reliance on a competitor when developing machinery, and is an assertion of ambition given that the Sakura-based manufacturer has secured titles in the past two seasons in partnership with Red Bull.
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Same sincere attitude
Honda Global CEO Toshihiro Mibe 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 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 of 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."
We will work together and strive for the championship title as Aston Martin Aramco Honda.
Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll has overseen a rapid upscaling of the team from its less affluent Racing Point days, with an aggressive recruitment strategy paired with the construction of a new state-of-the-art headquarters.
The tie-in with Honda from 2026 is further proof of his commitment to success in F1, and the Canadian said: "I would like to welcome Honda and HRC to Aston Martin.
"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 [Honda Racing Corporation President] Mr [Koji] Watanabe, and the whole team at HRC as we embark on this exciting future together from 2026."