Aston Martin’s decision to switch to Honda power units

Aston Martin has announced that it will switch to Honda for its power unit supply from 2026, thereby ending its long-standing partnership with Mercedes. The move is a significant one for Aston Martin, which has relied on Mercedes for its power units, gearbox, and rear suspension package since 2009. Aston Martin CEO, Martin Whitmarsh, said that the decision was made because the team needs to be in charge of its own destiny in terms of power unit supply. He explained that the team wants to break free from Mercedes and find a new path, no longer constrained by the architecture of someone else’s gearbox and suspension.

The desire to be in charge of their own destiny in terms of power unit supply has been a long-held aspiration for teams. Whitmarsh believes that the close co-operation between the power unit and chassis worlds will become more important than ever under the next set of regulations. He suggests that the 2026 technical regulations will demand a very substantial full integration, not just the physical integration of components but the operational integration to be able to deliver and to win to a much greater extent.

Working with a Dedicated Partner

Whitmarsh’s knowledge of Honda goes back to 1989 and the halcyon days of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Later, he was the man who persuaded the Japanese manufacturer to rejoin McLaren for the hybrid era, although he had left the team before the partnership got underway. That relationship collapsed in large part because of poor communications and the early onset of a blame culture. Whitmarsh observed how it unfolded as a well-connected outsider and he won’t let Aston make the same mistakes.

Aston Martin’s decision to switch to Honda is a significant one and will require the team to establish its own gearbox design and build facility ahead of the switch to Honda, something that it hasn’t had in-house for many years, thanks to the supply deals with McLaren and latterly Mercedes. Sauber has had to make a similar move. After years of using Ferrari units, it is now building its own in preparation for the transition to Audi in 2026.

Aston Martin CEO, Martin Whitmarsh, believes that a respectful partnership is essential for a works partnership to work successfully. He said that it is necessary to listen to one another and make sure that the right balance is achieved. He is confident that the team is a new and growing team with big ambitions that will listen as they embark on this partnership.

Aston Martin’s decision to switch to Honda for its power unit supply from 2026 is a significant one, as it will require the team to establish its own gearbox design and build facility ahead of the switch to Honda. The move is a result of the team’s desire to be in charge of its own destiny in terms of power unit supply and break free from Mercedes. Aston Martin CEO, Martin Whitmarsh, believes that close co-operation between the power unit and chassis worlds will become more important than ever under the next set of regulations. He said that a respectful partnership is essential for a works partnership to work successfully.

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