Alonso & Aston Martin’s secret weapon for 2026 revealed

In a move that’s been described as potentially game-changing for the world of Formula 1 racing, Fernando Alonso’s decision to continue his stint with Aston Martin through to 2026 appears to be more than just a routine contract renewal. A report by Auto Motor und Sport suggests that this decision might strategically position Aston Martin due to the upcoming regulatory changes in the sport.

Alonso repeatedly emphasized his motivation for staying with the team, specifically citing the involvement of Honda and Aramco “again and again.”

The F1 regulations set for 2025 will remain largely unchanged; however, 2026 will introduce sweeping alterations, notably as Honda transitions its support from Red Bull to Aston Martin. This shift comes at a time when the engines will undergo significant modifications to accommodate entirely synthetic fuels.

Tobias Gruner of Auto Motor und Sport highlights the critical nature of partnerships with fuel suppliers from 2026, stating, “the know-how of petrol partners will matter more than ever.” As the rules evolve to mandate 100 percent synthetic fuels, the expertise of companies like Aramco becomes indispensable.

Further explaining the role of the combustion engine, Gruner notes it will “therefore act like a generator at times.” He warns that without adequate preparation, “half of the approximately 1000hp power from the overall system will be missing.”

Another major change will be a reduction in allowable fuel load, making the fuel’s quality crucial. “This means that the quality of the fuel that is used will become increasingly important,” Gruner adds, emphasizing ongoing advancements in fuel technology. “Fuel development in the laboratories and on the test benches is already in full swing.”

Aramco’s proactive efforts in fuel innovation are seen as a significant advantage. “Experts expect that Aramco will enter the new era with a head-start,” Gruner suggests, pointing to the company’s previous collaborations with the FIA during the drafting of new regulations.

Aramco’s commitment extends beyond F1, as it already provides e-fuels for Formula 2 and Formula 3 competitions. The company has set up facilities in Saudi Arabia and Spain, aiming to lead in e-fuel technology.

Gruner concludes with a reflection on the strategic implications for Alonso, “It will be interesting to see whether the plan works out for Alonso in the end.”

Adding another layer to the competitive dynamics, F1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds is cited for his desire to foster competition among fuel suppliers while ensuring no single player monopolizes the advantage due to superior fuel. “We want to create competition between fuel suppliers,” Symonds asserts. He adds a cautionary note: “But we don’t want anyone to completely dominate just because they have better fuel.”

GMM

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