Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that the Milton Keynes-based team have “received written assurances” from Honda that their current technical partnership will be honoured, following the manufacturer’s announcement that they’ll be powering Aston Martin from 2026.
Whilst it had been speculated, it was officially confirmed Wednesday morning that Honda will become Aston Martin’s official engine supplier from 2026, when the new power unit regulations are introduced.
The deal comes at an ideal time for both parties, with Honda’s deal with Red Bull concluding at the end of 2025, as does Aston Martin’s deal to be a Mercedes customer outfit.
Honda’s announcement confirmed two things: that they’d be partnering Aston Martin from 2026, and that they would be ending their partnership with Red Bull.
The latter was known but not officially confirmed, with Red Bull having announced a new technical partnership with Ford for 2026 at the start of the season.
Despite the new partnerships starting in 2026, Honda have reassured Red Bull that their current deal will be respected, whilst Marko warned Aston Martin what the manufacturer are like to work with.
“We have received written assurances that the priority will not change until 2025 and that they – like us – will continue to work with full commitment to win more World Championships,” Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.com.
“Honda is very restrictive with their communications as far as the engine is concerned. The intellectual property and all that is exclusive to Honda and we don’t get any detailed information.”
Honda have made life very difficult for Red Bull in recent years, with the Japanese company having announced in 2021 that they’d be leaving the sport.
Given that they were Red Bull’s and AlphaTauri’s engine supplier, this caught the Austrians very much off-guard, with Red Bull having been keen to avoid becoming a customer team again.
This is largely why they opened their own powertrains department, with Red Bull to power themselves from 2026.
Honda quickly made a U-turn and decided to return to F1 just a few months after announcing their departure, with the Japanese manufacturer having confirmed that they’d be an engine supplier in 2026.
With Red Bull having started working on their own powertrains, though, they weren’t interested in Honda’s engines for 2026, with a “common path” having not been found when discussing a potential partnership for the new regs.
“The departure [from Honda] was not involuntary, we first had to react,” Marko said. “And then, when Honda decided last year to continue, there was no more common path that would have been satisfying for both of us.
“There were talks about a possible cooperation, but we couldn’t agree with Honda on who would do what.”