The start of the partnership will coincide with new F1 rules that require engines to be up to 50% electric and for cars to use fully-sustainable ethanol as fuel.
Chief executive officer Toshihiro Mibe said the power-unit supplier deal will facilitate the development of Honda’s electrification technologies.
“Technologies and know-how gained from this new challenge can potentially be applied directly to our future mass production electric vehicles, such as an electric flagship sports model, and electrification technologies in various areas, including eVTOL,” he said in a statement, referring to electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
Honda’s association with F1 stretches almost 60 years, from engine supplier to fully-fledged team.
In 2021, Max Verstappen won the Drivers’ Championship for Red Bull Racing Honda. Prior to that success, Honda had a short-lived partnership with McLaren from 2015 to 2017. It exited F1 after Verstappen’s triumph, though continued to provide technical support to Red Bull.
“The partnership with Honda is the final piece in the jigsaw to establish Aston Martin Formula 1 as a top team capable of winning world titles,” Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll said at a briefing at Honda’s Tokyo headquarters Wednesday.
“We need to exploit every single area of our technical package and now a bespoke PU (power unit) is the important last step in that journey.”
Stroll led a consortium to buy the Force India team in 2018, renaming it Racing Point before taking on the Aston Martin name.
The team has emerged as a growing force, with Mercedes-Benz AG as engine supplier. Its lead drivers are double world champion Fernando Alonso and Stroll’s son Lance.
Billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media acquired F1 in a US$4.4 billion deal in 2017 and has sought to cultivate a new generation of fans by extending the sport’s reach in Asia, the US and the Middle East, and launching a direct-to-consumer streaming service and the popular Netflix series “Drive to Survive.”
Honda has said it plans to spend 5 trillion yen (RM165bil) on its push into electric vehicles over this decade, launching as many as 30 models by 2030.
“We view motorsports as a laboratory on wheels where we try to improve our cutting-edge technologies,” Mibe said at the briefing.
“Technologies refined through racing have been fed back to our production vehicles and put into practical use.”