Honda’s double F1 play: Red Bull title & Aston Martin future

While Honda currently propels the leading Red Bull team, it’s also laying the groundwork for its forthcoming factory Formula 1 venture with Aston Martin, set to debut in 2026.

Amidst a halt, or ‘freeze’, on most power unit advancements until the introduction of new regulations, Koji Watanabe, the head of Honda Racing Corporation, has stated this week that HRC remains focused on enhancing “durability and reliability” for Red Bull.

He expressed Honda’s commitment to securing a fourth successive world championship with Red Bull this year, while also acknowledging the significant efforts being invested into the upcoming Aston Martin-Honda initiative for 2026 and beyond.

“Under the new regulations, the keys to victory will be small, lightweight, high-output motors, high-performance batteries that can handle large amounts of power, and energy management technology, so HRC is currently working on developing a new power unit,” Watanabe disclosed.

“We are moving forward at a rapid pace. We have built a very good relationship with Aston Martin, and have begun collaborating on both the technical and marketing aspects.

“We hope that you will look forward to our activities starting in 2026,” he added from Japan.

Furthermore, Watanabe shared that Honda is in search of a new European base for its post-2026 F1 operations.

“Honda needs a front-line base for Honda F1 in Europe in order to re-enter the championship,” he mentioned, hinting at the downsizing of operations amid the ongoing engine ‘freeze’ after the conclusion of the Red Bull works partnership at the end of 2021.

“Honda is currently making preparations to establish such a front-line base,” Watanabe concluded. “As for the specific details, we would like to discuss the matter as soon as it is decided.”

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