Honda has ‘no objections’ to Alonso reunion despite ‘GP2 engine' criticism

Honda say they have “no objection” to working with Fernando Alonso again despite his stinging criticism of their F1 engines in the past. 
Honda has ‘no objections’ to Alonso reunion despite ‘GP2 engine' criticism

While racing for McLaren during Honda’s disastrous three-year partnership with Honda, Alonso publicly criticised the Japanese manufacturer at their home race in 2015 when he referred to their power unit as a “GP2 engine”. 

Remote video URL

Alonso’s scathing complaints caused his relationship with Honda to become frayed, but Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe said a possible reunion with the two-time world champion 11 years after his famous radio outburst would not be blocked. 

“The selection of drivers is up to the team to decide,” Watanabe said following confirmation of a works F1 partnership with Aston Martin from 2026. 

“So, if the team decides we’ll have Alonso as a driver again, we will have no objections whatsoever on him driving.”

Watanabe continued: “We respect him [Alonso] highly.

“With respect to the driver selection, I will not say we’re not going to be involved in team management whatsoever but the decision of the drivers is up to the team.

“Of course we will be giving them suggestions or input.”

Current Honda CEO Toshiro Mibe added that “the past is the past”. 

Honda has ‘no objections’ to Alonso reunion despite ‘GP2 engine' criticism

It is unclear at this stage whether Alonso, who is in the first season of a two-year deal with Aston Martin, would even be interested in continuing to race in F1 for that long. 

The Spaniard turns 42 in July and would be 44 by the time Honda’s partnership with the Silverstone-based outfit begins.

“Clearly Fernando is doing a great job and I’m delighted to have him as part of our team as he’s making a great contribution both on and off the track,” Aston Martin group CEO Martin Whitmarsh said. 

“I spoke to Fernando a while ago about the direction we wanted to go. He’s a very intelligent individual. I’m sure everyone here is referring to some comments that were made in the heat of the battle, which were quite memorable, but he understands and respects what Honda is doing.

“Honda won the 2021 and 2022 world championships and unless we can beat them this year, they’re going to do it again. So they are a great partner for us and I think Fernando sees that.

“2026 is probably outside his planning horizon at the moment.

“We’ve got to give him a car that is consistently capable of winning races. We’ve made a reasonable step forward this year, we’re not yet where we need to be but we’re continuing to develop the team’s facilities and we’ll get stronger.

“We’ll have a discussion before 2026, I’m sure, about where Fernando’s future lies. I hope he’ll be around for a number of years and it would be great if he’s as fit and competitive as he is today. Then it would be fantastic to have him in the car in 2026 as well."

Fernando Alonso (ESP), Aston Martin Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race
Fernando Alonso (ESP), Aston Martin Racing Formula 1 World Championship,…

Read More