Aston Martin Honda?

Is Aston Martin too big for Mercedes? Aston Martin is not only the best customer team on the Formula 1 grid for the 2023 Formula One season, but is currently even ahead of its engine and gearbox supplier, Mercedes.

However, with the great progress and the goals and ambitions of the team, the question soon arises whether they have to grow out of the Mercedes partnership in order to gain more freedom in design themselves.



“We are very happy with what we are getting”

Owner Lawrence Stroll had already dreamed of having his own Aston Martin engine a few years ago, but with the new engine regulations in 2026, there would theoretically be another option: Honda. The Japanese manufacturer has expressed an interest in a Formula One return and a partnership combined with Aston Martin would mean a de facto works team, just as Red Bull was from 2019 to 2021.

Music to the ears of Stroll no doubt.

That said the official and not surprising line is that “We’re very happy with what we’re getting,” claims Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows.

The senior team boss said of the partnership with Mercedes.

“We’ve got the gearbox, of course, and parts of the rear suspension. And of course the power unit. We’re very happy with that.”


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Aston Martin currently ‘happy’ with Mercedes

“As engineers, of course we work with the limitations that are available to us. And so far I haven’t found any reason to wish for anything other than what we’ve got from them.” continues Fallows.

So it doesn’t sound like Aston Martin will be saying goodbye to Mercedes any time soon and doing its own thing.

“That would be the case if we were really dependent on them in areas that would limit our performance,” Fallows says when asked about this in more detail.

“Honestly, I don’t think anything we get from Mercedes limits our performance. Does any of that prevent us from achieving the goals we want to achieve? No, absolutely not.”

“So I think at the moment we are very happy with our relationship. I think that’s where we are. We have an engine partner that we are very happy with at the moment. And that’s what we’re working on and we’re very happy with that relationship.”


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Works status needed to ‘progress’

Despite the rhetoric by Fallows of ‘nothing to see here’, Stroll is a canny operator and knows that in order for his Aston Martin team to progress to the sharp end for the long term, works status with an engine maker is crucial. 

With the revised engine rules coming in 20206, a relatively short period of time when considering that the current iteration of engines came into force nearly a decade ago, the Canadian team owner will know that his team will need to secure that status sooner rather than later. Further, what better advert for his team to be ‘worthy’ of a works engine than the current performance being achieved with Fernando Alonso.


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Honda an option? 

The official line seems to be a no, for now. Fallows admits that he has yet to consider just how they would design their own gearbox to make it work aerodynamically best for Aston Martin in the complete chassis design.

“I honestly don’t know,” he says. “As with everything, you have to expand your team to cover different areas that you’re not involved in, but as I said, it’s not a problem for us at the moment. We’re very happy with where we are.”



Having not long joined the Aston Martin team, it isn’t surprising to hear Fallows dismissing a possible Honda partnership for 2026 when asked about it:

“I’ve been with the team for a little over a year, we’ve come a long way and we’re very focused on what we want to achieve this year and next year.”

“From my point of view, the power unit and gearbox aspect is something we are very happy with. In many ways it’s very pleasing that I don’t have to worry about that,” Fallows said.

“We are focusing on what we can achieve in the short term and then what we want to achieve in 2024. We have no problems with the Mercedes power unit. I think it’s a very strong power unit. I don’t think there is a disadvantage in any respect.”

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