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Honda Eyes Tsunoda for Aston Martin F1 Seat

Honda Eyes Tsunoda for Aston Martin F1 Seat

20/04/2024

Honda shows strong interest in placing Yuki Tsunoda at Aston Martin F1 by 2026, pending Lance Stroll’s departure.

Honda makes no secret of its desire to see a Japanese driver behind the wheel of a car powered by its engines for the new era of Formula 1 regulations starting in 2026.

Currently, the engines powering the four cars belonging to Red Bull in F1 are officially called “Honda RBPT” – this acronym stands for Red Bull’s new powertrain project. A fully justified name.

“The reason is that the batteries made by Honda are assembled by RBPT,” explains Yasuharu Watanabe, president of Honda Racing Corporation.

“After 2021, our team joined Red Bull Powertrains and now has the expertise needed to develop Energy Storage Systems (ESS) on par with Honda.”

“However, the batteries from 2026 will be completely different.”

Officially, the ‘factory’ relationship between Red Bull and Honda expired after 2021 – and the Japanese manufacturer will completely switch to a new partner, Aston Martin F1, for 2026 and beyond. Alonso and Honda will now reunite in 2026.

Honda is currently looking for a site in the UK for a new European F1 base.

“We want to start recruiting from June, then there will be gardening leave, etc.,” adds Watanabe. “The location of HRC UK has not yet been decided.”

At present, a second driver for Aston Martin for 2025 has not yet been officially confirmed, although Lance Stroll – the team owner Lawrence’s son – is the obvious favorite.

However, Honda is pushing for Yuki Tsunoda, who currently uses a Honda-RBPT powertrain in Red Bull’s junior team.

So far, Honda has supported the Japanese driver throughout his F1 career.

“Entering our fourth year, I feel he has become calmer than ever,” admits Watanabe. “Not just on the radio but also in normal conversations. He has really changed.”

He admits that Tsunoda’s transfer to Aston Martin F1 would make sense.

“I told him, ‘You don’t have to stay at Honda forever.’ So, even if our partnership with the Red Bull family ends in 2025, there will be no problem for us if he stays at RB F1 or goes elsewhere.”

“But if there’s an opportunity for him to come to Aston Martin, of course, we would welcome him favorably. I want him to choose the best option for himself.”

Such a scenario implies that Lance Stroll would leave his spot and exit F1. This is clearly not considered, according to Mike Krack, the director of Aston Martin F1.

Honda Eyes Tsunoda for Aston Martin F1 Seat

Honda Eyes Tsunoda for Aston Martin F1 Seat. Honda Eyes Tsunoda for Aston Martin F1 Seat

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