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Helmut Marko

Marko fires Aston Martin warning over Honda restriction

Will the Aston Martin Honda partnership be an amicable partnership? Marko has given a warning over the Japanese manufacturer's tendencies.

Verstappen Honda Japan vlag
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko has warned Aston Martin about Honda's restrictive Formula 1 nature.

Aston Martin will become a full works entry in 2026 after its partnership with the Japanese manufacturer was confirmed, bringing Honda back to F1 in an official capacity following its withdrawal at the end of 2021.

The shock departure left Red Bull without an immediate plan, with the two parties agreeing to a technology deal that sees Honda continuing its supply to the team whilst the Milton Keynes-based outfit develops its own powertrains journey - now in partnership with Ford.

Speaking to Motorsport Magazin after the Aston Martin announcement, Marko insisted: "It doesn't change anything for us," he is adamant. "We made the decision to build our own engine after Honda said they were going to quit altogether. In fact, they wanted to do that by 2022. In order not to become dependent again we made that decision then.

"A courageous decision on our part, and also an expensive one. Right now, however, Red Bull Powertrains is doing very well. We are on schedule. All the engines already built are more or less at the level expected.

"For us, it works fine like this, so there is no possibility [for Honda] to return. There were talks about possible cooperation, but we couldn't reach an agreement with Honda about who would do what. So this situation arose and we now have Ford as a partner. They obviously have no experience in current Formula 1, but they can contribute a lot to the battery."

No common path

Providing an insight into what Aston Martin could expect from its working relationship with Honda, Marko added: "Honda is very restrictive with communication about the engine.

"The intellectual property and everything involved lies with Honda. We don't get detailed information.

"The departure came suddenly, forcing us to react. When the Japanese decided to continue in F1 last year anyway, there was no common path that would have been satisfactory for Red Bull as well."


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