Aston Martin has made a bold decision to trade Mercedes and Honda. The British team has been working with the German manufacturer for some time and has already achieved several successes this year. However, Aston Martin does not feel that it can be world champions as long as Mercedes is the engine supplier.
Aston Martin and Honda announced this morning that they will work together from 2026. CEO Martin Whitmarsh played a key role in this, having previously worked with Honda at McLaren. At that time, McLaren was in the same position as Aston Martin is now: Mercedes will always give its factory team priority over customer teams, so find a partner that works only for you. It is hoped for Whitmarsh that the new partnership is going much better.
“Mercedes is and will continue to be a great partner,” Whitmarsh begins his explanation. “They want to win, but we’re also here to win. That’s where our missions sometimes differ. That’s why we made this decision. If you want to be number 1, you also have to beat Mercedes. It’s very difficult to do that when you have to compete against such a big organization, while also depending on them in part.”
The first steps towards Honda were only taken at the beginning of this year, says Whitmarsh. That had everything to do with strong performances in the spring and four podiums by Fernando Alonso. “We managed to get good results with a normal budget, but the situation is different now. We want to win and the 2026 rules not only require that all parts are perfectly aligned, that must also apply to the entire organization. That is why we are very happy with Honda as a partner.