Mike Krack says there is "no reason" why Fernando Alonso should still not be racing with Aston Martin in 2026 when their technical partnership with Honda begins.
It was announced on Wednesday that Aston would ditch customer Mercedes power units and link up with Honda for F1's new power unit regulations in 2026 as the Japanese manufacturer returns yet again for an assault on Grand Prix racing.
Aston driver Alonso - who would turn 45 midway through 2026 - has a troubled history with Honda owing to their spell together during the McLaren-Honda days of 2015-17.
Alonso publicly blasted the power unit at Honda's home race in Japan in 2015, calling it a "GP2 engine" and was also blocked from using Honda power during his 2020 Indianapolis 500 campaign.
Honda themselves are open to working with Alonso once again - with Krack confident the two-time World Champion will still be in the car - if he wants.
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Alonso to work with Honda again?
"There is no reason to think he should not be with us in the car in 2026," Krack told media, including RacingNews365.com in Monaco.
"I cannot see one single reason why he would not be.
"Fernando was not involved in the discussions [with Honda] but he was always kept in the loop.
"We wanted to have his thoughts, we wanted to have his opinions, as we do with every topic because he is a key member of the team, just as Lance [Stroll] is.
"We have a very good relationship with our drivers you see it when you listen to the radio, they are both always involved.
"And we are fortunate to also have Pedro [de la Rosa] who also has some relationships - so I think all in all, it is a very strong team.
"We do not say the drivers are there, the engineers are there. It is just one big group where everybody's opinion counts."
Improved culture key
One of the major problems of the McLaren-Honda partnership was the lack of a working relationship and cultural understanding between the two.
The Toro Rosso and Red Bull era solved some of these problems for Honda - who will be entering in the first year of the new regulations in 2026 and not skipping a year as they did when they returned in 2015.
And Krack believes the experience of Technical Director Dan Fallows and Aston Martin Performance Technologies CEO Martin Whitmarsh in working with Honda could be key.
"The world has come closer together in general, you will remember that when you travelled to Japan 15 years ago, it was different than when you travel now," he said.
"So everybody, the whole world came closer together - and you see the working relationships. It is much, much easier these days.
"We understand Japanese culture better, the Japanese understand European or Western culture much better.
"The meetings that we've had so far, I was very impressed about the openness of the exchanges that we were having. It was nowhere near what you would expect maybe 20 or 25 years ago.
"Obviously the relationships that Dan or Martin had is helping because they know the faces, they know the people.
"But all in all, the approach and collaboration so far has been very open and very transparent, and we're really looking forward to continuing that."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to ask if Mattia Binotto could really join Alpine, what Pirelli's new tyres are about and the latest on the Red Bull-Ford partnership!