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Honda eager for Yuki Tsunoda's switch to Aston Martin

Honda eager for Yuki Tsunoda's switch to Aston Martin
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Honda is openly enthusiastic about the prospect of Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda joining Aston Martin in time for the new regulations slated for the 2026 Formula 1 season.

Honda is openly enthusiastic about the prospect of Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda joining Aston Martin in time for the new regulations slated for the 2026 Formula 1 season.

Currently, the engines fuelling the quartet of vehicles owned by Red Bull in F1 are designated 'Honda RBPT', with 'RBPT' denoting Red Bull's latest powertrain initiative.

"The reason for that is because the battery units manufactured by Honda are assembled by RBPT," explained Yasuharu Watanabe, president of Honda Racing Corporation.

"After 2021, our professional staff moved to Red Bull Powertrains and so they now have the know-how to develop ESS (energy storage systems) at the same level as Honda."

"However, the batteries from 2026 onwards will be completely different."

The official partnership with Red Bull ended in 2021, and the Japanese manufacturer has fully committed to partnering exclusively with Aston Martin from 2026 onward.

This new collaboration promises to surpass previous ventures with Red Bull and the unsuccessful stint with McLaren, during which Fernando Alonso famously referred to it as a "GP2 engine".

Alonso is set to join forces again with Honda starting in 2026.

"Well, they are winning the championship now, so they are demonstrating that they have the discipline and the work that is needed to succeed in Formula 1," commented the Spanish driver, who recently extended his contract with Aston Martin for the 2025 and 2026 seasons, in Shanghai.

Honda is actively scouting for a location in the UK to establish a new European F1 headquarters.

"We want to start recruiting as early as June, and then there is gardening leave and so on," Honda's president Watanabe disclosed to the specialist Japanese publication as-web.jp. "The location of HRC UK has not yet been decided."

Currently, Aston Martin has not confirmed a second driver for 2025, although Lance Stroll, son of the team owner Lawrence, is heavily tipped for the role.

Meanwhile, Honda is advocating for Yuki Tsunoda, who is presently powered by a Honda-RBPT engine at Red Bull's junior team, to fill that position.

Honda has been a long-standing supporter of Tsunoda throughout his Formula 1 journey.

"Entering our fourth year, I feel that he has become more calm than ever," observed President Watanabe. "Not only on the radio but also in normal conversation. He really has changed."

The possibility of Tsunoda transitioning to Aston Martin is acknowledged as logical by Honda.

"I have said to him 'You don't have to stay with Honda forever'," Watanabe remarked. "So even if our partnership with the Red Bully family ends in 2025, there will be no problem for us whether he stays at RB or moves."

"If there is an opportunity for him to come to Aston Martin, of course we would welcome it," he admitted. "I want him to choose the best option for him."

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