By Alan Baldwin
MONACO (Reuters) – Fernando Alonso had little love for Honda when their engine was in his slow and unreliable McLaren from 2015-17 but the Spaniard would be happy to revive the relationship at Aston Martin in 2026 — if he is still around.
Honda announced on Wednesday that they will power Alonso’s current team when Formula One enters a new engine era.
Alonso will be 42 in July but has been on the podium four times in five races this season and is showing no signs of easing off or losing his speed.
“Racing again with Honda is going to be no problem at all from my side,” said the Spaniard.
“I think they have proved that they now have a competitive package, they won the championship in 2021 (with Red Bull), they won the championship in 2022, most likely will win the championship in 2023.
“They have now a very strong package, it’s a new set of regulations, but I think be a very exciting project.”
Honda’s return to McLaren in 2015 was an excruciating failure for both team and manufacturer after they had enjoyed huge success previously together in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Alonso fanned the flames, and embarrassed Honda, by speaking openly of the engine being more suitable for a GP2 car at their home Japanese Grand Prix.
Honda have bounced back with Red Bull, now the dominant team on the grid and reigning champions, but that relationship will end at the end of 2025.
Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe said on Wednesday that there would be “no objections whatsoever” to Alonso if the team wanted him to race on in 2026.
If that sounds unlikely, with Alonso already the oldest driver on the starting grid as well as the most experienced in the history of the sport, team boss Mike Krack was not ruling anything out.
“There’s no reason to think he won’t be with us in 2026,” he told reporters.
Alonso said it all depended on how much enjoyment he got from racing.
“I know that one day I will wake up and I will not feel motivated or happy to keep travelling or this kind of thing. Or maybe I don’t feel fast, and I would be the first one to raise my hand and say maybe it’s time,” he said.
“So let’s see, I think it’s a long way until 2026.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by…)