Aston Martin admit delicate ‘balancing act’ between Mercedes and Honda

Sam Cooper
Honda Motor Co. President Toshihiro Mibe and Aston Martin Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll shake hands. Tokyo, May 2023.

Honda Motor Co. President Toshihiro Mibe and Aston Martin Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll shake hands. Tokyo, May 2023.

Aston Martin’s Mike Krack has admitted the team are in a “balancing act” between Mercedes and Honda with a future engine supplier swap coming in 2026.

Aston Martin have been a customer of Mercedes since their return to the grid in 2021 and even with Racing Point before that, but they will break off in 2026 as they become the works team of Honda.

The move represents a significant step forward and a continuation of the upward trajectory of a team that went from a P7 finish in the 2022 Constructors’ to regular podium finishes in 2023.

But there are still over two and a half seasons before the switch and Krack recognised they have to show respect both to Honda but also their current supplier Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains.

“For sure [it is] a balancing act,” the Aston Martin team principal told Channel 4. “But I think the most important [aspect] is that we respect what we have.

“We respect the service that we have had over all these years and they are super professional.

“I can give you one example which was really, really nice. Yesterday, when I saw a report from our engine partners, our car [was used as an example] so that shows the level of teamwork that we are having and I really hope that we can maintain this up until ’25.”

Head of the Mercedes operation Toto Wolff was not too upset to see Aston Martin go with McLaren and Williams also current customers and recognised it was not to do with an underperforming Mercedes engine.

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“I don’t think them switching from a Mercedes client situation to a Honda has anything to do with the power unit,” Wolff said.

“I think we are competitive in terms of power unit, but they always wanted to emancipate themselves and become a true works team, and that’s what they’re doing.

“They have their own exclusive power unit supply deal, they have their own fuel supplier, they are building a big factory that’s going online in the next few months.

“Lawrence [Stroll]’s aim is never small. I think when you want to be competitive and win championships, that is the kind of step that you need to make.”