Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes Aston Martin have become a Honda works team for 2026 not because the Germans’ power units are underperforming, but because they want a “exclusive power unit supply deal”.
It was recently announced that Aston Martin wouldn’t be extending their deal with Mercedes to take them into the new power unit regulations in 2026, with the Silverstone-based side having announced a deal with Japanese manufacturer Honda.
2025 will therefore mark the end of Aston Martin’s time as a Mercedes customer team, bringing a 17-year relationship to an end.
The Silver Arrows started supplying Aston Martin with power units back in 2009, when the side were known as Force India.
Honda have, of course, developed an incredible engine with Red Bull since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations, perhaps hinting at why Aston Martin have partnered with the Japanese company.
Honda themselves had been searching for a team to partner in 2026, given that Red Bull will be offered technical support by Ford when the new regs kick-in.
Wolff is certain that the switch from Mercedes to Honda has nothing to do with performance, with the Austrian believing that Aston Martin simply want to become a “true works team”.
“I don’t think them switching from a Mercedes client situation to a Honda has anything to do with the power unit,” said Wolff, as reported by The Mirror.
“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.
“Lawrence [Stroll, team owner]’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.”
It might not just be Aston Martin that Mercedes are losing for 2026, with Williams and McLaren yet to commit to the German manufacturer’s power units for the new regs.
McLaren have been linked to Red Bull powertrains for 2026, with CEO Zak Brown having recently visited Red Bull’s factory.
The Woking-based side have kept it no secret that they are considering their options, a situation will likely develop over the coming months.