Following Wednesday’s announcement that Aston Martin will be powered by Honda power units in 2026, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has sent the British side a stark warning, that the Japanese manufacturer are “very restrictive”.
Whilst it had been speculated, it was officially confirmed on Wednesday morning that Aston Martin would be ditching Mercedes come the end of 2025, in order to be powered by Honda for the start of the new power unit regulations.
The deal comes at a good time for both sides, with Aston Martin’s deal with Mercedes ending at the end of 2025, as does Honda’s partnership with Red Bull.
Despite the announcement, though, Honda will continue to respect their current partnership with the Austrians, with Marko having admitted that the news “doesn’t change anything”.
The new partnership will see Aston Martin become a full Honda works team in three years’ time, marking an official return for the Japanese company.
Honda withdrew from the sport in 2021 much to the shock of Red Bull, before they decided to return in the latter stages of last season, but in a technical partnership.
Red Bull have been forced to design their own engines largely due to Honda suddenly deciding to quit in 2021, with Marko perhaps warning Aston Martin that the engine supplier aren’t the easiest to work with.
“It doesn’t change anything for us,” Marko adamantly told Motorsport-Magazin.
“We made the decision to build our own engine after Honda said they were going to quit altogether. In fact, they wanted to do that by 2022. In order not to become dependent again we made that decision then.
“A courageous decision on our part, and also an expensive one. Right now, however, Red Bull Powertrains is doing very well. We are on schedule. All the engines already built are more or less at the level expected.
“For us, it works fine like this, so there is no possibility [for Honda] to return. There were talks about possible cooperation, but we couldn’t reach an agreement with Honda about who would do what. So this situation arose and we now have Ford as a partner. They obviously have no experience in current Formula 1, but they can contribute a lot to the battery.”
Marko went on to further warn Aston Martin about what working with Honda is like, with the Austrian having revealed that the manufacturer is “very restrictive” in regard to how much information they give the team about the power unit.
“Honda is very restrictive with communication about the engine,” Marko admitted.
“The intellectual property and everything involved lies with Honda. We don’t get detailed information.
“The departure came suddenly, forcing us to react. When the Japanese decided to continue in F1 last year anyway, there was no common path that would have been satisfactory for Red Bull as well.”