Honda open the door for Max Verstappen to be Fernando Alonso’s successor

Could Max Verstappen be Fernando Alonso's successor at Aston Martin?

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with second placed Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team in parc
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with second placed…

Honda have opened the door for Max Verstappen to join Aston Martin - the F1 team they will supply with engines from 2026 - in the future.

The Japanese manufacturer have been Red Bull’s power unit supplier since 2019, with the partnership enjoying unprecedented levels of success.

Honda’s ability to provide a competitive power unit has been a big part in Red Bull’s title successes, particularly in 2021 against Lewis Hamilton.

The Red Bull-Honda partnership has culminated in three world titles for Verstappen - with two more triumphs in 2024 and 2025 very likely. 

Honda decided to quit F1 ahead of the 2021 season, just before Verstappen’s maiden title success.

However, the new engine rule set in 2026 has attracted Honda back to the sport with Aston Martin.

Aston Martin appear to have their driver line-up locked down with Fernando Alonso signing a new multi-year deal, while Lance Stroll is likely to stay for as long as he wants.

But, Honda would be keen on reuniting with Verstappen in the future, hinting at the possibility of the Dutchman potentially being Alonso’s successor.

"I don’t think that day will come within a very short period of time, but if both continue their Formula 1 activities in the future then we hope that we can work together again one day," Watanabe told

"It is a very good relationship. We trust each other and also the Honda workers love Max. We are proud to work together with Max, so we will miss him in the future.

"But we still have two years together and we promise to do our best to win another world championship together with Max and Red Bull.

"He is so important. He is the number one Formula 1 driver now. Of course, the team management is important and the machinery is important as well, but the combination is crucial and one important piece of that is Max."

After three miserable years with McLaren, Honda power returned to the podium at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium…

Verstappen then claimed Honda’s first win in well over a decade at the Austrian Grand Prix later that year.

Watanabe explained why he has fond memories of that race at the Red Bull Ring.

"My biggest memory is him pointing at the Honda logo on the podium in Austria at the Red Bull Ring," Watanabe added.

"I was there, that was a very special moment for me. I was standing under the podium and that day was so special.

"He always thinks about Honda and says ‘thank you, Honda’ a lot. He expresses his thoughts to the outside world about Honda, which is also important for all the people working for Honda."

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