Is Aston Martin too much for Mercedes? Not only is Aston Martin the best customer team on the Formula One grid for the 2023 season, it is currently ahead of its engine and gearbox supplier, Mercedes. Not only that, but there are big changes coming as Lawrence Stroll loses faith in the German marque.
Owner Lawrence Stroll has been dreaming of having an Aston Martin engine of his own for a number of years now, but with the new engine regulations coming into force in 2026, there is theoretically another option: Honda. The Japanese manufacturer has expressed an interest in returning to Formula One and partnering with Aston Martin would mean becoming a de facto works team, just as Red Bull was from 2019 to 2021.
Music to Stroll’s ears, no doubt. Well, it appears that Stroll has a habit of making dreams come true, with the Silverstone based team set to be a works outfit with a Honda engine.
‘Progress’ requires works status
Something many team bosses have know since the start of the V6 Hybrid era in 2014, is that to stay at the sharp end, the engine and chassis need to be developed together. Ron Dennis at McLaren knew this, hence why the ill fated relationship started in 2015 had sound beginnings.
This website reported on such a scenario last week, saying that this is likely the direction of the Stroll owned team, despite the stories being touted by senior team members.
The official and not surprising line from Dan Fallows at Aston Martin was that “We’re very happy with what we’re getting,”
“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.”
This, however, doesn’t seem to be the case behind the scenes.
Alonso/Verstappen Le Mans combo
Honda deal in 2026
According to several sources, the Japanese manufacturer will power the Aston Martin team in Formula 1 from the 2026 season.
The Japanese manufacturer Honda is to become the engine supplier for the Aston Martin Formula One team from the 2026 season, with an official announcement expected on Tuesday night, according to several sources including De Telegraaf’s Erik Van Haren.
Honda, which currently supplies engines to Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri in F1, will continue to do so until the end of the 2025 season. Before Red Bull, which is currently developing its own engine under the name Red Bull Powertrains, becomes its own supplier of power units in collaboration with American manufacturer Ford.
Rumours of a collaboration between Aston Martin and Honda have been circulating in the Formula One paddock for some time now, with the Silverstone-based team using Mercedes engines, gearboxes and rear suspension for some years now.
One of the main reasons why Honda has decided to continue in Formula One from 2026 is that the new engine regulations that will come into force at that time will allow manufacturers to develop cheaper power units, while 50% of the power will be electric, which is completely in line with the Japanese company’s policy of developing its entire range of electric vehicles over the longer term.
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Stroll doesn’t trust Mercedes
The inside story is that Lawrence Stroll hasn’t much faith in Mercedes to deliver an engine to his team that will take Aston Martin to the next level, winning championships. Indeed, with the current situation, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if Mercedes decided to up sticks and leave F1. This isn’t likely, but it is certain that the German manufacturer will be concentrating on their own works outfit ahead of Aston Martin.
Aston Martin Honda road cars
Another reason to believe the rumours on this occasion is to look toward the road car situation. Industry insiders believe that the latest Aston Martin Vanquish will be powered by a Honda engine instead of the Mercedes engines that currently power the British car maker’s road cars.
If ever one needs to understand the direction of manufacturers in motorsport, look toward trends in their road car operations.
This only indicates a big split away from Mercedes power for the Aston Martin team.
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