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Verstappen Expresses Disappointment over Honda’s Future F1 Plans



Verstappen Honda F1 2026

In a surprising twist to the high-stakes world of Formula 1, Max Verstappen, two-time championship winner, expresses disappointment and confusion at Honda’s decision to collaborate with Aston Martin for the 2026 season. Despite Honda’s previous plans to exit, Verstappen’s disillusionment lies in Honda’s last-minute shift, leaving Red Bull and its new partnership with Ford in an unforeseen quandary.

Max Verstappen expressed disappointment regarding Honda’s decision to collaborate with Aston Martin for the 2026 Formula 1 engine regulations.

Back in 2020, Honda stated their plans to discontinue their role as Red Bull’s official engine provider by the conclusion of 2021.

Subsequently, a temporary phase is slated from 2022 through 2025, during which Honda will persist to supply engines to Red Bull on a contractual basis, planning to exit completely in 2026. Over a year of contemplation led Honda to shift its position, unveiling a 2026 engine plan and formalizing an agreement with Aston Martin on Wednesday.

In response to Honda’s uncertainty about its 2026 entry, Red Bull took the initiative to establish its own engine division, Red Bull Powertrains, and to secure a collaboration with Ford for 2026.

Verstappen, whose championship-winning years have been powered by Honda engines, conveyed his confusion and frustration regarding Honda’s decision-making process.

“From our perspective, it’s somewhat unexpected how everything eventually unfolded because a few years ago they announced, ‘We’re quitting’, prompting Red Bull to establish an entire engine division, and then at some point, they [Honda] announce, ‘Oh, we’re continuing’,” a perplexed Verstappen shared during a discussion in Monaco on Thursday.


“When you’re already committed to developing your own engine, it’s really challenging to consider any partnership. I would say it’s a bit of a pity,” Verstappen remarked.

“We always have, and continue to, maintain a strong relationship with them. It’s slightly disappointing to see them join forces with Aston Martin.

“From our side, there’s a considerable excitement about the prospect of what will happen with Ford from 2026 onward.

“It is what it is; a few years ago, we assumed they were departing, and now they’re staying and aligning with Aston. This is indeed good for Aston. We all know they’ll have a formidable engine, it’s just the way it is,” Verstappen added.

Verstappen further mentioned his affection for working with Honda and the ensuing disappointment he will feel when their collaboration ceases at the close of 2025.

“We’ve achieved great success together, so naturally, it will be disheartening to witness them depart at some point,” Verstappen concluded.

“But we were already prepared for this since they had already announced, ‘We’re going to withdraw’, so we had already bid our goodbyes, but that’s just the way it is.


“I’m certainly glad for the people at Honda that they remain in F1, but it’s sorrowful to see them shift to a different team.”

One doesn’t need to read too deep into Verstappen’s statements to discern that he is certainly somewhat upset by Honda’s actions.

If the sequence of these events has indeed bothered Verstappen, it’s completely understandable. Summarizing his perspective, Honda withdrew from F1, pushing Red Bull to invest heavily in establishing its own engine facility, the success of which is uncertain. Honda then chose to proceed anyhow, aligning with a competing team.

Such a scenario would irk any competitive individual. Verstappen is set to lose a significant advantage of his current package and is fully aware that this situation could have been averted had Honda made different choices.

Verstappen surely would have preferred to continue his collaboration with Honda. He embraced the Honda project at Red Bull very early in the game. Verstappen appreciated the meticulousness of their trackside team, paid a visit to Sakura, participated in numerous Honda promotional activities, and solidified his status as a preferred brand figure.

Top-ranking Honda officials even likened Verstappen to a contemporary Ayrton Senna.

The essential factor here is that Verstappen’s individual rapport with Honda has been tremendously positive, and the efforts made by Honda to enhance its engine’s performance have been notably successful. Honda invested everything in their pursuit of victory in F1, a commitment that Verstappen not only respected but also profited from.


Naturally, he’s not going to be pleased to witness the dissolution of this partnership, regardless of the potential that Red Bull envisages in its own engine strategy with Ford.

Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, underscored what Red Bull will lose and Aston Martin will gain due to the transition.

“Working with Honda has been an honor,” Perez expressed.

“It has been truly remarkable to see how responsive they’ve been; every request we made was acted upon, changed; they attentively listened to a driver’s feedback, even during the weekend, to fine-tune the engine, the shifts.

“With a leading team acquiring a top manufacturer, this combination is set to be among the most potent in 2026.

“Of course, we’re excited to collaborate with Ford at that time, but we’re uncertain of what to anticipate. I’ve never worked with them, so it will be a fresh challenge.

“However, based on my experience with Honda so far, I’ve been genuinely impressed by their work ethics and the level of detail they incorporate into everything a driver requests,” Perez added.


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