Aston Martin And Honda’s Ambitions “To Become World Champion” In 2026

The Steering Wheel In The Car Of Lance Stroll, Aston Martin Amr23
The Steering Wheel In The Car Of Lance Stroll, Aston Martin Amr23

Honda has been Red Bull Racing’s engine supplier for the past few years of their biggest success and dominance in Formula 1. But the collaboration is slowly coming to an end. Whilst Red Bull is joining forces with Ford in 2026, building their own power unit, Honda reconsidered the decision to leave the sport altogether and is partnering with Aston Martin.

Koji Watanabe, the president of Honda Racing Corporation, talked to Motorsport.com about the goals of this collaboration: “Become World Champion from 2026 onwards. But we have to set sharp goals to be able to get the very best out of it together with Aston Martin. That’s why we put in with Mr. Stroll and with Mr. Mibe [CEO of HRC] to please aim for, so purely aim for, winning the world championship in that year. In practice, we know it won’t be that easy.”

To even purely aim for the championship title in 2026, when the new regulations are coming, is certainly a very ambitious goal. Though, as their freshly re-signed driver, Fernando Alonso, said: “There is no other team in the paddock with the ambition and the plans for the future that Aston has.”

The Spaniard also talked about the team’s progress and development: “This team was very new two years ago. It doubled more or less the amount of people that worked in the factory. They were in an old Jordan building, now they are in a super modern factory.”

“Last year we had a very fast car, and we had to learn a lot of lessons off track of how to develop the car to match the top teams. This year, we are matching that kind of development. So, I think they’re all very good signs.”

Right now, Aston Martin is fifth in the 2024 Constructor’s Championship — the place they ended up in last year. However, we can’t forget about the team’s spectacular first half of the 2023 season, in which they consistently placed on podiums with Fernando Alonso. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to match their competitor’s updates as the year progressed.

On this, the driver has a very clear input: “I’m very happy. I think I was happy last year, and I am still happy now. And I feel good with the team. I would love to be in a stronger position.”

“Last year, we were fighting for bigger things at the beginning of the year, and we were in more or less this position at the end of last year; fifth-fastest team.”

“This year, it seems that we have a roadmap for developing the car that is a little bit more aggressive and more in line with a top team that wants to fight for big things, and I’m happy to see that.”

With Alonso’s multi-year contract, it’s clear he’ll have at least one year with Honda as Aston Martin’s supplier — if not more, because we don’t know the full form of the contract. What some people might not know is that the Spanish driver already has past experience with Honda — and not a pleasant one.

Honda was McLaren’s partner between 2015 and 2017, while Alonso raced for them, and the engines proved to be uncompetitive. He wasn’t shy to label the Honda “GP2 engine” at the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix.

“When I worked with him from 2015 to 2017, it was a very difficult situation for both Honda and the team. It was a particularly frustrating period in our history, and there were times when our relationship was strained,” said Watanabe about the McLaren era.

The HRC principal added: “But, I think we have become stronger because we overcame that frustration. Alonso has also been very active since then. I’m glad that we can overcome that painful experience together and fight together for victory once again. I hope that we can aim for the championship together and win together.”

Coming into 2026 side by side, we’ll see what the team can do to fulfill their ambitions. With the rumours of Aston Martin trying to lure Red Bull’s brilliant engineer Adrian Newey to themselves, the future can bring us many twists and surprises.

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