Japanese vehicle manufacturer Honda announced this Wednesday at a press conference his return to Formula 1 in 2026 as a supplier of engines and other equipment for the Aston Martin team.
“Honda has decided to participate in the Formula 1 world championship as an engine supplier from the 2026 season,” said Honda president Toshihiro Mibe during the appearance, who sees the firm’s participation in racing sports as “a means of research” for the development of its products.
Honda withdrew from Formula 1 (F1) in 2021 to focus its resources on the decarbonisation of its models, although they maintain a technical maintenance agreement until 2025 with Red Bull, to whom it supplied engines until its last withdrawal, to which it will give reverse with the Aston Martin Aramco Honda team.
Mibe explained that many of the firm’s young engineers “they have expressed their desire to accept new challenges” and believes that the company can “gain significant value by participating in F1”.
“A partnership with Honda is the last piece of the puzzle to position Aston Martin as a a top team capable of winning world titles“, said the owner of the British team, Lawrence Stroll, present at the announcement on Wednesday.
Stroll said Formula 1 is “in the DNA” of both companies and that “it was an easy decision for us to choose to join forces.”
The Canadian thanked the Honda board for “to have seen the potential” of its alliance with Aston Martin and praised the “enduring and impressive” record of the Japanese company in F1: six drivers, six constructors’ titles and 89 victories.
return to competition
The Japanese manufacturer first participated in Formula 1 in 1964, shortly after bringing its first vehicles to the market.
The company He made his first outing of the category in 1968 and, after a parenthesis, returned in 1983 as a supplier for the next decade of engines to teams such as Williams and McLaren, together with which he would leave an important mark in the competition.
The bursting of the financial bubble in Japan led Honda to withdraw from Formula 1 again in 1992. It would return to this sport in 2000 as a team for eight years, until the financial crisis unleashed by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers made the company to rethink its activities again.
In 2015 it would return to the front line of the competition as an engine supplier for McLaren, and four years later it would begin its alliance with Red Bull, for which it continues to provide technical assistance despite its departure as a technology provider in 2021.
That was “an agonizing but necessary decision” that “has generated the desired effect within the company”said Mibe, who hopes that Honda’s return to racing can “respond to the encouragement and expectations of the fans more than ever.”
with new regulations
Honda plans to return to Formula 1 from 2026 under new regulations around the construction of power units, Mibe said.
F1 has set itself the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2030 and from 2026 it will be mandatory the use of 100% carbon neutral fuel.
This change “is in line with Honda’s direction on carbon neutrality and is of great importance for the development of future technologies to achieve this,” the company added in a separate statement.
“The technology and knowledge gained on how a race is won is directly related to the competitiveness in the mass production of electric vehicles in the future“, considers Mibe, who sees F1 as a great laboratory for the company.
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