Aston Martin engineering director Luca Furbatto has said the team’s 2026 engine project with Honda is “developing rapidly”, as they prepare to become partners in future.
After Honda’s power unit collaboration with Red Bull ends in 2025, the Japanese manufacturer will begin a works deal with Aston Martin that will see the Silverstone-based team become another factory operation in Formula 1 for when the sport’s next mass regulation change comes into effect the following year.
While the team admit it is still “early days” in their relationship, they are working apace to make the most of the 2026 regulation changes.
Aston Martin issue update on current status of Honda progression
Honda and Red Bull have produced one of the standout power units on the grid in their time together, and Aston Martin will be hoping for the same when the sport’s engine formula resets in three years’ time, with a greater focus on electrical energy being put in place, along with the use of fully sustainable fuels.
But the move from Aston to become a factory team also heralds a key moment in their progression, moving away from the customer model that they currently use with Mercedes.
With much emphasis being placed on being an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] in Formula 1, the team hopes this regulation change, coupled with their hefty investment, can bring about a title challenge in future.
And now, Aston Martin say they will “accelerate” their working partnership with Honda as they look to hit the ground running together.
“In the past it has not been the case but since the introduction of hybrid power units only works teams have won the F1 World Championship,” Furbatto explained to Aston Martin’s official website.
“We’re very happy with what we receive from Mercedes, however in terms of car architecture we’re partially led by Mercedes F1 Team and Mercedes High Performance Powertrains.
“We receive the dimensions of the power unit, gearbox and rear end, so we have to adapt the design of our car around what they provide to us.
“By 2026, with a power unit from Honda and our own gearbox, we’ll have control of our own destiny. If we want to take the next step towards winning, this is what we have to do.
“It’s been extremely exciting since the announcement last May. We started the first face-to-face meetings with Honda straight after the announcement and are having regular catch-ups.
“As you can appreciate, for them it is still early days, but the 2026 engine is developing rapidly; we’re exchanging ideas and they’re responding incredibly positively.
“As we move forward, the cooperation will accelerate because the deadlines are tight and, in some cases, cannot move.”
Come 2026, there will be significant changes to how the cars are constructed in Formula 1, with greater emphasis placed on aerodynamic efficiency, along with the power units generating much more electric power and using sustainable fuels.
With regulations resets often shuffling the pecking order in the sport, as was the case last season when Red Bull took up the mantle long held by Mercedes, Aston Martin will be one of several teams looking to capitalise.
But Furbatto warned the team will still have to outperform their rivals if they are to climb to the top at that point.
“All new regulations are exciting and present a huge opportunity,” he said.
“As the regulations currently stand, teams will have to develop a car that is very aero efficient to compensate for the new power unit.
“It’s a challenge, but every team is in the same situation. It’s up to us to do a better job than the others.”