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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