Aston Martin is already starting to prepare for life as Honda’s works Formula 1 project for 2026.
Silverstone-based Aston Martin, currently powered by customer Mercedes engines, began 2023 as the closest rival to Red Bull – whose Honda collaboration will end after 2025.
Aston Martin’s performance, though, has diminished as established works outfits like Mercedes and Ferrari upped their game through in-season developments.
“Our updates have not been as successful as we expected,” team boss Mike Krack admits.
“We wonder if our methods and direction of development were correct, so the necessary changes will have to be made for the future,” he added.
Aston Martin, with two-time Fernando Alonso at the wheel, has invested in a new factory and will get its own on-site wind tunnel up and running soon.
At the same time, preparations for works life with Honda are now underway.
“Currently, we are purchasing the gearbox and the rear suspension from Mercedes,” Aston Martin engineering boss Luca Furbatto, who was poached from Alfa Romeo-Sauber, said.
“In 2026 we will reach works team status with Honda,” he added. “Much will change and we will need to carry out a number of new projects for the car.”
It is clear that Aston Martin has aspirations to join Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull as a true ‘top team’ in Formula 1 – with works Honda engines the next step.
“In the past it has not been the case but since the introduction of hybrid power units only works teams have won the world championship,” said Furbatto.
“We’re very happy with what we receive from Mercedes, however in terms of car architecture we’re partially led by Mercedes. We receive the dimensions of the power unit, gearbox and rear end, so we have to adapt the design of our car around what they provide to us.
“By 2026, with a power unit from Honda and our own gearbox, we’ll have control of our own destiny. If we want to take the next step towards winning, this is what we have to do,” he added.
Furbatto revealed that “meetings” and “catch ups” with Honda are already taking place.
“As you can appreciate, for them it is still early days, but the 2026 engine is developing rapidly,” he said. “We’re exchanging ideas and they’re responding incredibly positively.”