Honda to participate in F1 from 2026 season as power unit supplier for Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant team
25 May 2023
Honda Motor plans to participate in the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1) from the 2026 season as a power unit supplier. Honda has agreed to enter into a works partnership with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team to supply power units compliant with the new F1 power unit regulations which will take effect in the 2026 season.
In pursuit of its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, starting from the 2026 season, F1 will implement new regulations with an engine/electric motor maximum power output ratio of 50/50. This will represent a significant increase in the deployment of electrical power compared to the current ratio, while use of a 100% sustainable fuel is also required. Under the current 2023 regulations, the required ratio of electric motor contribution to power output is slightly less than 20%.
Specifically, the 2026 regulations require a reduction of engine output while tripling the output of the energy recovery system (ERS), which recovers kinetic energy under certain situations such as braking, and converts it into electrical energy. This will result in maximum power output that is roughly even between the engine and motor.
These changes in F1 power unit regulations are consistent with the direction Honda has been taking toward the realization of carbon neutrality. Honda said that working to these regulations will have profound significance in terms of providing Honda important opportunities to pursue the development of future technologies toward that direction. Based on this belief, Honda made the decision to take on a new challenge in F1 racing.
The Honda Racing Corporation (HRC), which has become responsible for both auto and motorcycle motorsports activities since 2022, will assume responsibility for the development of power units, race participation and the management for F1 racing as well.
With the new 2026 regulations, the key for winning will be a compact, lightweight, and high-power electric motor with a high-performance battery capable of handling high and swift power output, as well as the energy management technology. We believe that the 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 which is currently under research and development.—Toshihiro Mibe, Global CEO of Honda