Japan’s Honda is set to make a full-scale return to Formula One in 2026, after it pulled out at the end of the 2021 season, supplying a new generation of engines for the Aston Martin team.
Japanese car giant sling has confirmed that it will return to Formula One as an engine supplier in 2026, when the next generation of hybrid V6 engines is introduced.
But instead of the championship-winning Red Bull team it powered from 2019, plus its sister team Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri,has signed an agreement to feed the attire.
The Japanese car giant formally withdrew from F1 at the end of the 2021 season, but continues to help Red Bull build and maintain Honda engines under the new Red Bull Powertrains banner.
This deal is set to expire at the end of 2025, after which Red Bull will partner with American auto giant Ford on the development of the hybrid engines and technology.
Aston Martin’s Formula One cars are powered by Mercedes-AMG engines today, in an arrangement in place since 2009, when the team was under different ownership and known as Force India.
Honda’s return will coincide with the introduction of Formula One’s new hybrid engine regulations, which will retain the turbocharged 1.6-litre V6s, but plan to triple the power the hybrid system adds.
About half the power produced by Formula One cars will now come from the hybrid system, for a total of about 1000 horsepower (745kW), and the petrol engines will run on 100% ‘sustainable’ synthetic fuels.
Honda says the new engine regulations lured it back to the top tier of motorsport, which it says “are consistent with the direction Honda has been taking toward realizing carbon neutrality.”
The Japanese car giant’s return to Formula One in 2026 will mark its second return to F1 in roughly a decade.
It joined F1 after a six-year absence in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, but three years of disappointing performances and a lack of reliability saw the two entities split at the end of 2017.
Starting in 2018, Honda began supplying engines to Red Bull’s second-tier F1 team, Toro Rosso (later renamed AlphaTauri), before powering Red Bull Racing’s premier team from 2019.
While Honda formally withdrew from Formula One at the end of 2021, until the end of 2025 it will help Red Bull build and maintain what used to be Honda engines, under a new Red Bull Powertrains division formed by the energy drink team.
Engines for Red Bull F1 cars from 2026 are expected to be branded ‘Red Bull Powertrains-Ford’, while Honda has confirmed that the Aston Martin team will formally be renamed Aston Martin Aramco Honda to reflect its involvement.
“Honda has agreed to enter into a working partnership with Aston Martin Aramco’s Cognizant Formula One® team to supply power units that comply with the new F1 power unit regulations that will come into effect in the 2026 season,” Honda said. in a press release today.
“In pursuit of its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, starting with the 2026 season, F1 will implement new regulations with a 50/50 maximum engine/electric motor power output ratio.
“This will represent a significant increase in electrical power deployment…2026 regulations require a reduction in engine power while tripling the power of the Energy Recovery System (ERS)…this will result in a of maximum output which is approximately even between the motor and the motor.
“These changes to the F1 power unit regulations are consistent with the direction Honda has been taking towards realizing carbon neutrality. Working with these regulations will have profound significance in terms of providing Honda with important opportunities to further develop future technologies in that direction.
“Based on this belief, Honda made the decision to take on a new challenge in F1 racing.”
Toshihiro Mibe, Honda’s CEO, said in a separate statement: “Honda and our new partner, the Aston Martin F1 Team, share the same sincere attitude and determination to win, so starting in the 2026 season we will work together and We will strive for the Championship”. title as Aston Martin Aramco Honda”.