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Alonso Eager for Honda Reunion Overlooks McLaren Saga

Alonso Eager for Honda Reunion, Overlooks McLaren Saga

12/04/2024

Fernando Alonso commits to Honda with a new Aston Martin contract, setting sights on the 2026 F1 season.

The team signed an engine supply deal with the Japanese manufacturer last year, starting with the arrival of new Formula 1 power unit regulations in two years. Alonso’s new contract means he will drive the Aston Martin-Honda in 2026.

Alonso stated he spoke with Honda’s management before accepting his new deal and wanted to work with them again.

“I saw them, not at Suzuka [last week], a few months ago. I have a great love for Japan and the things they do there.”

“I think the level of discipline and commitment they show is generally at another level in Japan. And that translates at Honda too. I’ve also worked with Toyota in the endurance championship and I am very familiar with that kind of discipline.”

“In 2026, we are certainly going into the unknown in terms of regulations. But if I had to choose one, I would choose our project and our engine. Firstly, because I think they dominate the sport, as I’ve said now, and they have a very, very powerful engine at Red Bull and AlphaTauri. And secondly, because with the new fuels and new regulations, they will have all the tools to succeed.”

Alonso Eager for Honda Reunion Overlooks McLaren Saga

Alonso’s previous experience with Honda was not positive, and he is remembered for his criticisms of their “GP2 engine” on the radio during the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix. He joined McLaren that year, attracted by the prospect of using Honda’s power units upon their return to F1. However, they endured three non-competitive seasons that ended when McLaren terminated their contract.

Honda then achieved success with Red Bull, propelling Max Verstappen to the last three drivers’ championships. Alonso hopes they can be as competitive again in 2026.

“Honda is definitely a manufacturer that is very successful today in Formula 1, and not just in Formula 1, in the world of motorsport. It’s always a company I have respected.”

“It didn’t work out for us at McLaren, in the years they returned to the sport, but just after, they solved all the problems and are currently dominating the sport. They are world champions these past few years. So I think they have a very solid baseline for 2026 already.”

“Also, their factory in Sakura has the capacity to build something really nice. I visited Sakura in 2014, 2015, 2016. I haven’t been there recently, but I know they are really motivated there.”

Alonso expects Aston Martin to also be in a strong position when F1 introduces its new sustainable fuels in 2026.

“That’s something I would love to experience, as I’ve already said, with Aramco, a great partner.”

“So I see a win-win situation. I respect the Japanese culture as you all know. We just came back from Japan, a special race—I always have a special helmet when we race in Japan. With the samurai tattoo on my back, there’s always a lot of connections with Japan.”

“This year 2026 is attractive and I hope that after the experience with McLaren-Honda and also IndyCar, we now have this opportunity to work together again. It’s a real pleasure for me.”

Alonso Eager for Honda Reunion Overlooks McLaren Saga

Alonso Eager for Honda Reunion, Overlooks McLaren Saga. Alonso Eager for Honda Reunion, Overlooks McLaren Saga

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