Honda has officially announced plans to participate in Formula One from the 2026 season as a power unit supplier to Aston Martin, which will be called Aston Martin Aramco Honda.
The Japanese carmaker powers constructor standings leader Red Bull Racing and its sister team AlphaTauri, and is also on top of the driver standings via reigning world champion Max Verstappen, despite having officially left the sport. However, Honda’s current supply deal with Red Bull expires at the end of 2025. Aston Martin’s current AMR23 car is powered by Mercedes.
Honda’s tie-up with Aston Martin will start as new F1 power unit regulations take effect. In pursuit of its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, starting from 2026, F1 regulations will require an engine/electric motor maximum power output ratio of 50/50. Compared to the current ratio, it’s a significant increase in the deployment of electrical power. The use of 100% sustainable fuel is also required.
Specifically, the 2026 regulations require a reduction of engine output while tripling the output of the energy recovery system, which recovers kinetic energy under certain situations such as braking, and converts it into electrical energy. This will result in maximum power output that is roughly even between the engine and motor.
Honda says that these F1 power unit regulation changes are consistent with its own direction towards carbon neutrality, and that working to these regulations will have “profound significance in terms of providing Honda important opportunities to pursue the development of future technologies toward that direction”. Based on this belief, Honda made the decision to take up the new F1 challenge.
“One of the key reasons for our decision to take up the new challenge in F1 is that the world’s pinnacle form of racing is striving to become a sustainable racing series, which is in line with the direction Honda is aiming toward carbon neutrality, and it will become a platform which will facilitate the development of our electrification technologies,” said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe.
“Honda is a company that has a history of growing by taking on challenges and winning world-class races. With the new 2026 regulations, the key for winning will be a compact, lightweight, and high-power electric motor with a high-performance battery capable of handling high and swift power output, as well as the energy management technology.
“We believe that the technologies and know-how gained from this new challenge can potentially be applied directly to our future mass production electric vehicles, such as an electric flagship sports model, and electrification technologies in various areas, including eVTOL which is currently under research and development,” Mibe added. By the way, VTOL stands for vertical take-off and landing vehicles, a.k.a. flying cars.
F1 is the ultimate R&D testbed, and Honda is sticking to its racing roots to develop new tech. Car enthusiasts, you heard what Mibe said there – an electric flagship sports model – so this is good news.
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