From a fan's perspective, this move might make little sense. Both Honda and Mercedes-AMG proved they have a winning engine. Both are ready to meet the 2026 regulations. The Japanese even exited the motorsport at the height of their career as a power unit supplier for Red Bull. The seven years they spent developing a reliable and potent engine felt like wasted labor. But there was a good reason for that.
Red Bull decided sometime in 2021 to go through with making its own powerplant and tapped Ford to make that dream come true. Porsche wasn't so keen on making it work, so the American automaker will be the engine supplier for Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri from 2026 until 2030. Honda did not want to agree with Red Bull's aspirations and kept repairing or modifying the power units in Japan. The well-known automotive brand took some cues from the racing team but, according to insider reports, refused to make maintenance and collaborative work more effortless. Even today, the engines arrive sealed to Red Bull. Ford might find it in them to work more closely with the team that entered F1 by buying Jaguar Racing from… Well, Ford!
In three years, the teams present on the grid will have to use sustainable fuels, pack more electrical power in their racecars, use more regenerative braking, consume less fuel, and they might even have to deal with turbo lag since some powertrain complexities will be gone to satisfy the environmental requests.
That's also when Aston Martin F1 will become Aston Martin Aramco Honda.
The Japanese company believes that the technologies and know-how gained from this new challenge can potentially be applied directly to its future mass production electric vehicles. Honda even hinted at an electric flagship sports model and said that electrification technologies could be used in various areas, such as eVTOL.
Lastly, don't get your hopes up for the deal of the century, though. Aston Martin most likely won't put a Honda-made engine on one of its supercars. It's far-fetched to believe the brand will give up on its partnership with Mercedes-Benz to tell its customers that F1-derived and Japanese-inspired prowess will be found on models like the DBX or DBS.