Honda began supplying powertrains to Toro Rosso (now Scuderia Alpha Tauri) in 2018 before moving up in 2019 to supplying engines to Red Bull Racing. RBR won the 2021 Drivers’ Championship with Max Verstappen and at the end of the season, Honda ended its involvement in F1. Well, in a way. In 2022, the Japanese automaker began providing RBR with technical support, helping them win the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
Honda will return as a powertrain supplier in 2026, but not with RBR like the latter works with Ford. Instead, Aston Martin and Honda have reached an agreement to work together from 2026, when many rules will change. F1 cars will use three times more electricity than today, while the turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engine will run on fully synthetic fuel. Hybrid powertrains are still expected to make over 1,000 horsepower and may be even louder.
From 2026, the hybrid powertrain component – known as the MGU-K (or Kinetic Motor Generator Unit) – is expected to produce 470 horsepower (350 kilowatts), roughly half the total output. Honda says the lessons learned from developing a new powertrain for the Aston Martin will be put to good use in road cars, including its “electric flagship sports car”. The company has already proposed The NSX will return with its third generation as an electric car.
As a refresher, Porsche tried to sign a deal with Red Bull. However, the Zuffenhausen-based carmaker wanted a 50:50 arrangement, which the F1 team refused. Despite the setback, Porsche still wants to join the world’s most prestigious racing series from 2026. Part of the same Volkswagen Group, Audi will enter F1 with Sauber.