World champion Max Verstappen says it is a “shame” Red Bull’s power unit supplier Honda will switch to Aston Martin in 2026.
Honda had originally announced they would be departing Formula 1 after the 2021 season but chose to remain involved in the sport in partnership with Red Bull as a result of their 2021 success. Verstappen says it was a “shame” Honda were ending their partnership with Red Bull to move to Aston Martin.
“I think from our side it’s a bit unfortunate how all of that turned out,” Verstappen said. “Because a few years ago they said ‘we’re going to stop’, so then Red Bull sets up its whole engine division and then at one point they say, ‘no, we’ll continue’.
“Once you are already in the process of building a whole engine yourself, you can’t really work together anymore. It’s a bit of a shame, I would say. I mean, we always have and had a really good relationship with them and then seeing them go to Aston Martin is a bit of a shame.”
Red Bull Powertrains will run Ford-badged power units in 2026 when the new engine formula comes into effect. Verstappen believes Honda will be a formidable force with Aston Martin.
“We are also very excited, from our side, from ’26 onwards, what’s going to happen together with Ford,” he said.
“A few years ago, we thought [Honda] were going to leave, now they they stay and they go with Aston Martin which, I think for Aston Martin, is really good. They have a great engine – we all know that. So it’s what it is.”
Honda originally rejoined Formula 1 with Honda in 2015 but moved to AlphaTauri in 2018 before beginning to supply Red Bull in 2019. Verstappen has won 33 of his 38 grand prix victories with Honda-designed power units.
“I love working with them,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success already, so of course I will be sad to see them go at one point. But we already expected that, because they said ‘we’re going to pull out’, so we already had a kind of a goodbye.
“Of course I’m happy for the Honda people that they stay in Formula 1. It’s sad to see them go.”
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12 comments on ““A shame” Honda are leaving Red Bull for Aston Martin – Verstappen”
25th May 2023, 15:02
This whole situation is just weird.
25th May 2023, 15:04
Well, Red Bull announced the partnership with Ford before and I might be misreading his statements, but the actual “shame” is when they announced they would leave, but after Red Bull started looking for another manufacturer connection (they were in talks with Porsche before the Ford deal) it seems there was no other option for Honda but to look elsewhere ONCE they decided do yet another U-turn.
Aston Martin was actually the only option but let’s see if Honda doesn’t do it all over again (after leaving just before success is on the way, the return is plagued for the initial seasons)…
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
25th May 2023, 20:36
I agree. I just couldn’t see how Red Bull expected to have “Ford” on their car when in fact the engine came from Honda, because they are competitors. Honda had invested a lot of money into making F1 engines, and when it became apparent their engine was actually very competitive they had no choice but to look for another team to supply engines to. I would expect Honda will want to supply two teams, so it will be interesting to see what the situation with AlphaTauri will be, whether they will remain with Honda or whether they will get the Ford engine.
Rhys Lloyd (@justrhysism)
26th May 2023, 4:47
@drycrust surely Alpha Tauri will continue with the RBPT? Doesn’t make much sense to me for them to step out of the family.
The Renault situation was different as RB were just a customer.
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
27th May 2023, 10:32
@justrhysism I wasn’t sure whether AlphaTauri would still be owned by Red Bull in 2026. If they are then, yes, it would be logical for them to get the same engines as Red Bull Racing do, i.e. from Ford, but if AT has been sold then Honda could continue to supply them.
25th May 2023, 15:32
you never know, maybe Verstappen will re-join Honda after his contract with Red Bull ends in 2028; Aston Martin likes to have World Champions in their team.
25th May 2023, 16:01
But when does LS become a WDC then ??
25th May 2023, 16:27
Look at it the other way: if you are Lawrence Stroll, and you know in your heart of hearts your son will never be WDC, would you rather see him lose to an alltime great like Fernando or Max, or to an also-ran like, say, Ocon?
25th May 2023, 17:55
El Plan gaining momentum ? #ALO26
25th May 2023, 18:59
Honda originally rejoined Formula 1 with Honda
Well yes but no
25th May 2023, 22:05
People are saying Red Bull trashes its engine manufacturers in the media, but tbh they only did it to Renault after their 2014 engine was a fiasco. It was quite obvious they had done the worst job out of the three engine manufacturers at the time.
Having Red Bull as a partner was a fantastic thing for Honda from a PR perspective. Honda simply decided to bottle it completely by ‘pulling out’ just as they started winning.
26th May 2023, 5:10
And the renault engine hasn’t exactly impressed since tbh.