Aston Martin’s pursuit of works Honda deal no reflection on Mercedes – Wolff

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Toto Wolff says Aston Martin’s planned move from customer Mercedes power to a works engine deal with Honda is “the kind of step that you need to make” to win world championships.

In brief

Wolff gives his take on Aston Martin’s Honda deal

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff does not believe Aston Martin’s switch to Honda power units in 2026 is reflection on the power units provided by the team’s current supplier Mercedes.

The Lawrence Stroll-owned team has used Mercedes engines since 2009, when it was known as Force India, and will become a works team for Honda when Formula 1 introduced news power unit regulations in three years’ time.

“I don’t think them switching from a Mercedes client situation to a Honda has anything to do with the power unit,” Wolff told media including RaceFans. “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 – and Lawrence’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.”

Sargeant still adjusting to requirements of an F1 driver

Williams’ rookie Logan Sargeant has admitted that the lifestyle of a Formula 1 driver is still something he is adjusting to after six grands prix.

“It’s a busy schedule, a lot of marketing, a lot of media, a lot of commitments, a lot of time on the sim. So you don’t get much time to yourself,” Sargeant told the official F1 website.

“So I’m learning how to do all that and not let it mentally drain me as much, and also have time to just hang out with some friends and I go play golf on the weekend or something like that.”

Barcelona DRS zones go unchanged

No changes have been made to the DRS zones at the Circuit de Catalunya for this weekend’s race. Drivers complained about some of the changes made to DRS zones over the first five races of the season, including the decision to shorten some of them.

In addition to the extension of the run-off area at turn one and bypassing of the chicane at the end of the lap, other changes for this year including the removal of artificial grass at turn three and new barriers on the outside of the high-speed turns 13 and 14, which F1 drivers will tackle for the first time since 2006.

Asteroid named after Alonso

Asteroid 73533 Alonso
Fernando Alonso now has an asteroid named after him. The Foundation of the Institute of Astronomy and Astronautics of Mallorca has chosen to rename asteroid 73533 in honour of the two-times world champion, who is seeking his 33rd F1 win.

“This asteroid has a peculiar numbering ending in ’33’, the same number of victories that the Asturian pursues in his long career in the highest category of the world motorsport,” said the foundation in a statement.

Asteroid 73533 Alonso is four kilometres wide and travels at a speed of around 32,400kph, some 87 times faster than the top speed Alonso will reach in his Aston Martin this year. It lies between Mars and Jupiter and can be tracked on NASA’s website here.

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Comment of the day

RaceFans spoke exclusively to Daniel Ricciardo at the Monaco Grand Prix about his return to Red Bull as their reserve driver, and how he feels he is in a “good place” with how he is using his 2023. Next month he will be back in a modern F1 car for a Pirelli tyre test too, so there’s clearly a lot to look forward to even if his desire to return to the grid isn’t realised.

Well none of us will ever really know if Daniel has his mojo back unless he gets the opportunity to drive a real F1 car in a competitive situation. The Pirelli tyre test might give us a little idea but that’s what he really needs.

I cannot really see any obvious openings for 2024. But who knows. F1 always has been full of surprises.

I cannot believe some people are so negative about Daniel appearing to be more happy and smiling. Oh he’s fooling himself or putting on a brave face. What’s wrong with smiling and making the best of things?
Phil Norman

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Josh, Kevin Hodge, Christos and Yhacbec!

On this day in motorsport

  • 25 years ago today Juan Pablo Montoya lapped the entire field as he won the Pau Grand Prix, which was being run to Formula 3000 rules for the final time

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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18 comments on “Aston Martin’s pursuit of works Honda deal no reflection on Mercedes – Wolff”

  1. Some 400,000 fans headed to Austin for the United States GP last year

    Umm, no, that was the weekend total gate, adding Friday, Saturday, and Sunday attendance. There were not 400,000 fans in the bleachers on Sunday.

  2. Good news, not that I ever expected activation zone lengths to change, given Circuit de Catalunya is among the worst for overtaking, maybe 5th-worst, with Monaco, Singapore, Hungaroring, & Zandvoort ahead or 4th-worst & Zandvoort 5th, I don’t know.

    Nice gesture by FIAAM, but I never expected an asteroid to get named after an F1 driver or anyone for that matter.
    I wonder who’s next.

    Seb’s choice is interesting.

    Good gesture by Leclerc & COTD is spot-on, although while F1 is always full of surprises, I don’t see how they’d necessarily appear in his favor.

  3. By coincidence, 73533 is the number of Grands Prix Alonso will take part in before he eventually retires.

    1. Alonso is pretty big on numbers, if I remember correctly. Hopefully he sees this as encouragement to get that extra win.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        1st June 2023, 11:02

        The 33 has even more meaning as in Spain FA will start his 362nd GP of 1086 GPs ever run. That’s a neat 33.3333…%

        1. Wow! That’s some statistic. Alonso will have taken part in at least one third of all F1 GPs.

        2. Don’t know if that’s Outer Limits or Twilight Zone stuff. But I know now I’m too scared to look at the TV in case the ” I can see…people” thing happens. Freaky

    2. Well later this year Alonso will have raced 100,000 km in F1 – took me a while to have that number sink in.
      And that is just counting actual completed race distance so excludes testing, promotion, practice and qualifying.

  4. Proesterchen_nli
    1st June 2023, 9:22

    The formula 1 team partially owned by Mr Stroll didn’t exist in 2009. So it couldn’t have used Mercedes engines then, either.

    1. Yes, not under his partial ownership, but under one of its former identities, as stated in the relevant paragraph, so Team Silverstone generally has been Mercedes-powered since 2009.

      1. My point being that Force India and the current Aston Martin F1 are not the same entity.

  5. The continued dependence on DRS to have “overtaking” is a big clue that the new regulations, especially post the Mercedes-induced ride height changes, have been a big failure. Time to get some new, younger people on the F1 technical groups so that the next overhaul doesn’t turn out so lacklustre.

  6. Who would have thought Toto is so insecure…

    1. He was asked a question, and he answered. What else is there? I don’t like him much, but let’s be serious…

  7. Oh COTD! Thank you Ida Wood.

  8. Asteroid 73533 Alonso is four kilometres wide

    Not just the number, it also matches the size of his ego.

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