Aston Martin plans to ditch Mercedes for Honda: Reports

Mercedes has been a long-time supplier of engines for Aston Martin but their relationship may be approaching its climax, amid recent rumours

Aston Martin plans to ditch Mercedes for Honda: Reports

Aston Martin F1 via Crash.Net

Mercedes powertrains have been an engine supplier in Formula One dating back to 1954. They have supplied power units to several teams, including the likes of Sauber, McLaren, Williams, Lotus F1, and Aston Martin. Their powertrains have always been top-tier and are renowned for their straight-line speed and reliability.

Aston Martin has been involved in a long-term contract with Mercedes and has been powered by the German manufacturers since the team was called Force India in 2009. The team has never mulled withdrawing from the deal and has been satisfied with the supply thus far. Their rise to the higher midfield in recent years is a testament to this, rendering their contract indispensable. Motorsports.Espanol reports that Aston Martin is contemplating an agreement with Honda as an engine supplier. A potential deal for the new era might come in 2026 when the new regulations kick in.

On February 3rd 2023, the FIA announced 6 engine manufacturers who would take the grid, with the most surprising name being Honda. Honda faced several challenges with the development of their powertrains since the inception of the turbo hybrid era. They partnered with McLaren between 2015 and 2017, which was a relationship which did not reap the benefits they desired. The engine was underpowered and unreliable. They returned in 2019 to partner with Red Bull and were largely unproven, but they showed a significant resurgence, showing good potential. Red Bull was crowned champions with the Honda power unit in 2021, being the first of the era to beat Mercedes. They intend on supplying from 2026 under the name of HRC-Honda Racing Corporation.

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Aston Martin will be taking a gamble by making the switch to Honda

Aston Martin could be Honda powered come 2026
Aston Martin Honda possibility via

Aston Martin has risen through the ranks recently and has been backed by Mercedes powertrains for over a decade. However, with the dawn of a new era as of 2026, the team is considering its options and is looking at a potential deal with HRC. The leadership at Honda also seems to be persuading the agreement of this deal. The team aims to be a world championship contender, and continuing to be supplied by a team they view to be direct rivals can prove to be a hindrance.

The role of the Mercedes power units cannot be understated in the growth and evolution of Aston Martin. Still, they must prioritize their ambitions to be a leader by establishing their independence. The team now aims to roll the dice and take their first step in making their title charge.

This agreement, as much as it is crucial in the long term, is not short of risks. It includes mounting their own wind tunnel, along with having to independently manufacture their gearbox, which Mercedes is currently supplying as an addendum to the power unit. It is a set of challenges the team hasn’t encountered yet and will require a significant rise in focus on development and reliability.

Regardless of the risk it may pose, the prospective deal is exciting, and should the team undertake it, we could see Aston Martin at the front of the grid in 2026. The developmental challenges, while they may be new, can be overcome, with the team’s strong leadership and developmental efficiency. Given the team’s ambition and the way they’ve leaped in 2023, it is an indicator of their engineering prowess. Their adaptability will be crucial, but for a team that aspires to be at the top, it should be an expectation, executed to perfection.

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