Aston Martin To Use Honda Engines From 2026, Red Bull Will Be Ford-Powered

Formula 1 will never be boring for those that like to look beyond the race. The teams and their partners have been making some interesting moves lately, and Aston Martin is no stranger to this trend. The British brand will join Japan's Honda in 2026, while Red Bull will partner with Ford. Here's what's going on.
Aston Martin AMR23 F1 Racecar 10 photos
Photo: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant on Facebook / autoevolution edit
Aston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 carAston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 carAston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 carAston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 carAston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 carAston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 carAston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 carAston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 carAston Martin and Honda Execs
Aston Martin is currently getting its F1-vetted 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 from Mercedes-AMG. The Germans also supply the Brits with their racecar's gearbox and rear suspension. This partnership will conclude in 2025, after the 2025 F1 season ends. From 2026 onwards, Honda will help Aston Martin reach its racing goals.

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!

Aston Martin AMR23 Formula 1 car
Photo: Aston Martin
But Honda might also have to deal with somewhat similar requests from Aston Martin. The British team wants a new, bespoke engine that will perform ideally from 2026 onwards. However, the future looks bright for Aston Martin in F1. It seems like 2023 is going to be a good season for the team, and with Mercedes-AMG engineers, Red Bull Racing aerodynamics experts, Honda's support, a former Ferrari driver to whom Honda does not object, and a very ambitious Lance Stroll that happens to be the team owner's son… We'll just say that 2026 doesn't come soon enough.

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.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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