Max Verstappen reacts to Aston Martin ditching Mercedes

Honda have announced a deal to exclusively provide Aston Martin with engines from 2026, marking their full return to the sport.

Honda announced last Wednesday that it will be returning to Formula 1 to form a partnership with Aston Martin from 2026, when the sport enters a new era of engine regulations.

Honda provided Red Bull with engines up until the end of the 2021 season, when the manufacturer announced it would be stepping away from the sport.

The decision saw Red Bull establish their own engine division before Honda backed down from quitting Formula 1, continuing to support the reigning world champions until 2025.

The new deal with Aston Martin will see Honda completely reverse course and return full time as an engine manufacturer, encouraged by the increased focus on sustainability in Formula 1.

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Red Bull driver and title-leader Max Verstappen seemed disappointed by the whole situation with Honda, claiming that he “loved working” with the company over the past few years.

“From our side, of course, it’s a bit unfortunate how all of that turned out, because a few years ago, they say we’re going to stop, so then Red Bull sets up its own engine division, and then at one point they say no, we continue.

“Unfortunately, once you’re 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.

“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. But, we are also very excited from our side from 2026 onwards to see what’s going to happen together with Ford.

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“It is what it is. A few years ago, we thought they were going to leave, now they stay and they go with Aston Martin. For Aston Martin, it’s really good, they have a great engine, we all know that. So it is what it is.

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“I love working with them, 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 right?

“Because they said we’re going to pull out, so we already had a kind of a goodbye. But yeah, it is what it is. Of course, I’m happy for the Honda people that they stay in Formula 1, but sad to see them go.”

The move marks Aston Martin’s latest effort to establish themselves as a potential champion winning team, as they push Red Bull for podiums in the 2023 season.

While Red Bull is undoubtedly the leaders this year, Aston Martin are the most impressive performer, having jumped from P7 last year to P2 this year, with four podiums in five races.