Despite Fernando Alonso's harsh criticism of Honda's F1 engines in the past, Honda says they have "no objection" to working with him again. At Honda's home race in 2015, Alonso openly insulted the Japanese company, calling their power unit a "GP2 engine," while driving for McLaren during Honda's dismal three-year collaboration with McLaren. Honda's relationship with Alonso deteriorated following the Spaniard's caustic criticisms, but Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe claimed that the company would not prevent a reunion with the two-time world champion 11 years after his legendary radio outburst. Due to the 2026 regulations' increasing focus on sustainable technologies and the proof of its success in the current Red Bull cars, Honda has opted to return to F1 with the growing Aston Martin team. The 2026 Formula 1 engine rules that mandated the use of 100% renewable fuels and a greater emphasis on electrical power seemed attractive to Honda.
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Alonso and Honda in Formula One
Alonso notably issued the radio message "GP2 engine, aaaarrgggh" during his persistent issues with the engine during the Japanese Grand Prix that year, in front of Honda's top management. Later, Alonso expressed sorrow for his choice of words, but the episode has become legendary for how it characterises the predicament he was in at the time. Honda's current leadership was unimpressed by Alonso's comments, but they've made it plain that they hold no grudges.
However, with Alonso turning 45 in 2026, his future at Aston Martin is less certain. The two-time world champion, though, is showing no signs of slowing down. Group CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, Martin Whitmarsh, said that despite their history, Alonso's inclusion in the squad was never a bone of contention with Honda.
Recent Honda History
When Red Bull signed a branding deal with Ford in 2026, Honda moved fast to find a replacement, and they eventually agreed with the British racing team. Mercedes, which has been working with the Silverstone-based team since 2009, will continue to provide power units, as well as the gearbox and rear suspension, to Aston Martin until 2025.
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Honda's indecision with Red Bull in recent Formula One history is perplexing. Red Bull Powertrains, on the other hand, relies on Honda power units that have won the last three world championships in a row. The Japanese automaker is known for making rash decisions, like the one that led to its exit at the end of 2021.
For the first time, Aston Martin is taking a chance by sponsoring the team financially. Not with Honda's history; there have been superior options available recently. However, this would necessitate ending the successful client agreement the business has had with Mercedes.
Aston Martin's admission that it would collaborate with Honda to manufacture its own transmission and rear suspension explains why the company predicted its partnership with Mercedes would survive no longer than 2025.
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