Ambitious Honda gunning for F1 glory with Aston Martin in 2026


Honda says that it will be gunning for F1 world championship glory at the outset of its partnership with Aston Martin in 2026, an ambitious goal aligned with the vision of Team Silverstone’s owner Lawrence Stroll.

The road to the collaboration between Aston Martin and Honda wasn't straightforward, as the Japanese manufacturer had initially decided to pull out of F1, which prompted Red Bull, its current partner, to develop its own engine with Ford for 2026.

But after considering various options, Honda was impressed by Aston Martin's massive commitment under Stroll's leadership to become a bona fide championship contender.

This vision clearly resonated with the manufacturer and with Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe who highlighted the importance of setting a clear target to motivate both Honda and Aston Martin to achieve greatness together.

"We know that it will be very difficult, and it is not so easy, but we need some good targets to put in our best effort together with Aston Martin,” commented Watanabe in an interview with

"So, that's why together with Stroll and Toshihiro Mibe [Honda CEO and president], we set the target to just aim for the world championship in that year. In reality, it is not so easy."

Watanabe acknowledged that there might be some gaps to fill before Aston Martin and Honda can seriously challenge for the title.

He emphasized open communication as key to identifying and addressing these weaknesses.

"Probably we're missing something [right now], but we have to tell each other what is missing,” he said.

"From an Aston Martin point of view what is missing on the Honda side and also what is missing on the Aston Martin side. That is an honest conversation to become a top-class team together."

After Honda announced its return to Formula 1 as a works power unit supplier from 2026, it predictably attracted interest from several teams seeking a competitive edge.

Watanabe elaborated on the factors that ultimately led the manufacturer to choose Aston Martin as its official partner, highlighting the F1 team’s strong leadership, impressive facilities, and collaborative spirit as key reasons for its choice.


"After we registered as a power unit supplier for 2026 some other teams contacted us as they were interested in working with Honda. Then we talked to those parties and made a decision," he explained.

"Honda was very impressed with Mr Stroll's strong passion and his strong leadership to fight for the world championship in 2026.

"They invest a lot of money to establish the factory in Silverstone. We visited them to see the factory that was under construction.

"Several times we have meetings with Martin Whitmarsh and Mike Krack, so the management team.

They are very open and the entire team is working in the same direction, it's one united team. That is a very good image for us.

"At the same time, they also think that Honda is a good partner for them to become world champion.

"We have already started a technical working team and also a steering committee meeting to discuss some important issues that we can maybe improve."

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