Yuki Tsunoda could replace Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin when Honda become the team’s engine supplier ahead of the F1 2026 season.
That is the view of respected F1 reporter Lawrence Barretto, who believes Tsunoda’s connections with Honda could make him part of Aston Martin’s plans.
Aston Martin enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2023, with Alonso claiming a total of eight podium finishes for the team following his arrival from Alpine.
Yuki Tsunoda to replace Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin?
Despite Aston Martin and Alonso both indicating a willingness to extend their relationship beyond this season, the two-time World Champion’s future remains unresolved with his current contract due to expire at the end of 2024.
Aston Martin announced last May that they will switch to Honda power in time for F1’s next rules reset in 2026 in the hope of emerging as title contenders.
Alonso had a fraught relationship with the manufacturer during Honda’s unsuccessful partnership with McLaren between 2015 and 2017, infamously referring to the power unit at a “GP2 engine” over team radio during the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix.
While the decision to remain at Aston Martin is up to Alonso, Barretto feels Tsunoda could emerge as a target for the team when the 42-year-old decides to retire.
In an analysis of F1’s driver market for the official Formula 1 website, he wrote: “Team principal Mike Krack has made no secret of the fact he would love Fernando Alonso to stay beyond the end of 2024 – and sources say senior personnel within the team back that view.
“It’s up to Alonso, then, to decide if he wants to stay.
“Right now, he looks to be loving it and should Aston Martin make a step on their 2023 performance and give him a car that can achieve more than the eight podiums he clocked up, it’s difficult to imagine how this partnership won’t continue into 2025.
“Equally, it’s difficult to imagine a world where [Alonso’s team-mate] Lance Stroll isn’t driving an Aston Martin while his father [Lawrence Stroll] remains the owner, so it’s almost certain he’ll stay put for 2025 too.
“It’ll be interesting to see what happens in 2026, though, when Honda become their works engine partner.
“Should Tsunoda kick on this year and again next year, might the Japanese manufacturer want to take the racer they’ve long mentored and financially supported to Aston?”
Tsunoda enjoyed arguably his strongest season to date in 2023, recording six points finishes in total as AlphaTauri finished eighth in the Constructors’ standings.