Alonso: After McLaren Honda fixed all problems

Fernando Alonso, after resigning for Aston Martin, is adamant his second experience with Honda power that starts in the 2026 Formula 1 season will be a successful one.

Aston Martin will be powered by Honda when the new F1 power unit and car regulations are introduced in 2026 and as such Alonso will be reunited with the Japanese marque.

However, a look back on brief F1 history shows that Alonso’s experience during his McLaren days when Honda was powering the Woking squad between 2015 and 2017 was far from positive as the Japanese company struggled to deliver reliable and powerful power units with McLaren’s chassis not better, the blame game going into over driver until the divorce took place at the end of the 2017 season.

Alonso didn’t spare Honda the criticism even labeling their power unit a “GP2 engine” during the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix.

But now, with Alonso extending his stay with Aston Martin, he will have Honda power at the back of his car in 2026, but insists it will be different this time around.

Speaking to the media, including GrandPrix247, Alonso said: “Honda is definitely a manufacturer that has so much to claim in F1 and in the rest of the motorsport.

“It did not work for us in McLaren,” he admitted. “After that Honda fixed all the problems. They have been reigning world champions for quite a while now and have a base line for 2026.

“They have the capacity in Sakura. I visited Sakura in 2014, 15 and 16. I know they are really motivated there. With Aramco fuel, I would love to experiment.

“This is a win win situation. We just arrived from Japan. It was a special race, a special helmet a samurai tatoo on my back ….We have this opportunity to work together. This is a true pleasure,” he insisted.

Honda engine will deliver success in 2026

Alonso’s contact renewal was announced after the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, a race the driver known for his fondness of the Samurai culture finished sixth.

The double F1 Champion was asked why the decision wasn’t taken earlier, he explained: “It was more the travelling. I was afraid that it is a heavy commitment: Car launch, catalogue shooting, photo shooting. All this is very demanding.

“This is a tough period then big plans and if I feel I am not enjoying what I am doing… I wanted to clarify and see how we perform. There is no guarantee… if we have no progress with the team, then I look elsewhere.

“We are very close,” he continued. “We are going to be competitive and sometimes less. Every time we have an update, the team is doing progress. In F1 it is never quick enough. 22 months ago we had a very small building. It was ex-Jordan factory. Now we can compare with Ferrari, McLaren or Mercedes. I want to be part of it.

“I saw Honda a few months ago,” the Spaniard continued. “I have great love for Japan. The level of discipline and it translates to Honda. I also worked with Honda and Toyota.

“If I have to choose one, I would choose their power unit. I know it is a strong engine and I will have the way to succeed,” Alonso, who won the Le Mans 24H race with Toyota in 2018 and 2019, concluded.

(Reporting by Agnes Carlier)