Helmut Marko warns Aston Martin over ‘controlling’ and ‘restrictive’ Honda management – “Doesn’t change anything for us”

Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko has issued a warning to Aston Martin over how controlling and restrictive a partnership with Honda can be.

Starting from 2026, Aston Martin will become a full works entry following confirmation of its partnership with Honda.

Helmut Marko. Credit: planetf1.com
Helmut Marko. Credit: planetf1.com

This brings the Japanese manufacturer back in F1 in an official capacity after they had theoretically left the sport at the end of the 2021 season.

The nature of their exit left Red Bull in a bit of a hole and the two parties eventually signed a technology deal that sees Honda continuing its supply to the Milton Keynes-based outfit till its own powertrain journey is complete.

“It doesn’t change anything for us,” Marko said.

“We made the decision to build our own engine after Honda said they were going to quit altogether. In fact, they wanted to do that by 2022.

Fernando Alonso. Credit: motorsport.com
Fernando Alonso. Credit: motorsport.com

“In order not to become dependent again we made that decision then.

“A courageous decision on our part, and also an expensive one. Right now, however, Red Bull Powertrains is doing very well.

“We are on schedule. All the engines already built are more or less at the level expected.

“For us, it works fine like this, so there is no possibility [for Honda] to return. There were talks about possible cooperation, but we couldn’t reach an agreement with Honda about who would do what.

“So this situation arose and we now have Ford as a partner. They obviously have no experience in current Formula 1, but they can contribute a lot to the battery.”

Marko then went on to issue a warning to Aston Martin after he himself has worked closely with Honda over the course of the existing deal.

Fernando Alonso. Credit: formula1news.co.uk
Fernando Alonso. Credit: formula1news.co.uk

“Honda is very restrictive with communication about the engine,” he said.

“The intellectual property and everything involved lies with Honda. We don’t get detailed information.

“The departure came suddenly, forcing us to react. When the Japanese decided to continue in F1 last year anyway, there was no common path that would have been satisfactory for Red Bull as well.”

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