Honda to Supply Engines for Aston Martin Starting with 2026 F1 Regulations 

Honda Racing Corporation President Koji Watanabe attends a news conference on their auto motorsports activities in Tokyo, Japan May 24, 2023. (Reuters)
Honda Racing Corporation President Koji Watanabe attends a news conference on their auto motorsports activities in Tokyo, Japan May 24, 2023. (Reuters)
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Honda to Supply Engines for Aston Martin Starting with 2026 F1 Regulations 

Honda Racing Corporation President Koji Watanabe attends a news conference on their auto motorsports activities in Tokyo, Japan May 24, 2023. (Reuters)
Honda Racing Corporation President Koji Watanabe attends a news conference on their auto motorsports activities in Tokyo, Japan May 24, 2023. (Reuters)

Honda will return as a factory Formula One supplier in partnership with Aston Martin in 2026 when F1 introduces new engine regulations.

Even if Fernando Alonso is still with the team.

Alonso and the engine maker had a nasty split in 2015 when the Spaniard was highly critical of Honda's F1 efforts. He drives for Aston Martin now, and the team announced on Wednesday in Tokyo that it will have a works partnership with Honda beginning with the 2026 season.

Honda was lured back into a more prominent engine role in F1 with the upcoming new regulations, which are part of F1's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The engines beginning in 2026 will have an engine/electric motor maximum power output ratio of 50/50 and use 100% sustainable fuel.

Ford has said it plans to return to F1 in 2026 under the new regulations with Red Bull, while General Motors under its Cadillac banner wants in if Michael Andretti is granted a team.

Honda officially pulled out as a works program with Red Bull after the 2021 season — Max Verstappen's first championship year — and it has only aided as a technical partner for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri since. Aston Martin gets its engines from Mercedes.

The FIA has so far approved for 2026 engines from Alpine, Audi, Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes and Red Bull with Ford. Audi will also be a new entrant.

As Honda announced its return, the very first question asked to the president of Honda Racing Corp. was if the engine maker is willing to work with Alonso. He's having a career resurgence at 41 years old in his first season with Aston Martin, but he had a bitter split with Honda when Alonso drove for McLaren.

Alonso so badly angered Honda that it refused to work with him as a McLaren entrant in the Indianapolis 500. But if Alonso is still driving three seasons from now, Koji Watanabe said Honda would work with the driver.

“When it comes to Alonso, there were times in the past where we did have difficulties,” Watanabe said through a translator. “Since then, we have teamed up with Red Bull and we were able to win the world championship title. Alonso is a very outstanding driver and as far as Honda, we respect him. And of course, it is up to the team to decide the drivers. But should he be selected, we will work with him.”

Martin Whitmarsh, group CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, quickly noted that Alonso's criticism eight years ago was during a race and should be long forgotten.

“I think this stems from something Fernando said in the heat of the battle a few years ago, which was regrettable,” Whitmarsh said. “He is a truly great driver. I think he's developed not only as a driver, but in his thinking about being a team member, since that time.

“I am sure if he was driving with the same energy and commitment and skill and speed in 2026, we'd be delighted to have it in the team. However, 2026 is a few years away yet. We haven't decided our driver lineup.”

Alonso is teammates with Lance Stroll, the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll. Both are having fantastic seasons; Alonso has four podium finishes through five races and ranks third in the F1 standings, while Stroll is a career-high eighth in the standings.



Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic Will Meet in the Wimbledon Men’s Final Again

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles semi-final tennis match on the twelfth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2024. (AFP)
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles semi-final tennis match on the twelfth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2024. (AFP)
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Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic Will Meet in the Wimbledon Men’s Final Again

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles semi-final tennis match on the twelfth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2024. (AFP)
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles semi-final tennis match on the twelfth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2024. (AFP)

Carlos Alcaraz is only a couple of months past his 21th birthday, and yet this whole Grand Slam success thing is already a bit been-there, done-that for him.

Moving a step closer to a second consecutive Wimbledon trophy and fourth major championship overall, Alcaraz overcame a shaky start Friday to beat Daniil Medvedev 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals at Centre Court.

"I feel like I’m not new anymore. I feel like I know how I’m going to feel before the final. I’ve been in this position before," Alcaraz said. "I will try to do the things that I did well last year and try to be better."

Like last year, his opponent in Sunday's title match will be Novak Djokovic, who advanced with a 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory against No. 25 seed Lorenzo Musetti. Djokovic won 15 of 16 points when he went to the net in the first set and finished 43 for 56 in that category.

It'll be the first time the same two men meet in consecutive Wimbledon finals since Djokovic beat Roger Federer in 2014 and 2015.

"He’s as complete a player as they come," Djokovic said about Alcaraz, who won the 2023 final in five sets. "It's going to take the best of my abilities on the court overall to beat him."

Djokovic, who hadn't reached a final at any tournament all season and needed surgery in June for a torn meniscus in his right knee, will be vying for his eighth championship at the All England Club. That would tie Federer’s mark for the most by a man — and put him one behind Martina Navratilova’s record of nine — while making the 37-year-old from Serbia the first player in tennis history with a career total of 25 Grand Slam titles.

"I know what I have to do," Alcaraz said. "I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me."

Late in Djokovic’s semifinal, as he let his first three match points slip away, fans hoping for a longer match began chanting "Lo-ren-zo!" One yelled out during a point, bothering Djokovic, who soon was wiping away fake tears mockingly after Musetti failed to convert a break chance in the last game.

The No. 2-seeded Djokovic — who got a walkover in the quarterfinals when his opponent, Alex de Minaur, withdrew with a hip injury — eventually worked his way into his 10th final at Wimbledon and 37th at a major.

"I don't want to stop here," Djokovic said. "Hopefully I'll get my hands on that trophy."

Musetti said it didn't look as if Djokovic was hampered at all by his knee, which was covered by a gray sleeve.

"He showed that he’s really in great shape, not only in tennis, but physically," said Musetti, who was appearing in a major semifinal for the first time.

After a so-so opening set against Medvedev, Alcaraz transformed back into the energetic, attacking, crowd-pleasing force who already was the first teenager to be No. 1 in the ATP rankings and is the youngest man to have won a major trophy on three surfaces: grass, clay and hard courts.

Now the Spaniard is one victory away from joining Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg as the only men in the Open era, which began in 1968, with multiple championships at the All England Club before turning 22.

Alcaraz also triumphed at the US Open in 2022 and the French Open last month and is 3-0 in major finals.

"We’re going to see a lot of him in the future, no doubt," Djokovic said. "He’s going to win many more Grand Slams."

On a cloudy afternoon, the No. 3-seeded Alcaraz went through some ups and downs against No. 5 Medvedev, a 28-year-old from Russia.

"I started really, really nervous," Alcaraz said. "He was dominating the match."

Indeed, Medvedev grabbed an early 5-2 lead, but then got into trouble with his play and his temper.

Alcaraz broke to get within 5-4 with a drop shot that chair umpire Eva Asderaki ruled — correctly, according to TV replays — bounced twice before Medvedev got his racket on the ball. He voiced his displeasure, and Asderaki, after climbing down from her seat to huddle with tournament referee Denise Parnell during the ensuing changeover, issued a warning to Medvedev for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"I said something in Russian. Not unpleasant, but not over the line," Medvedev said at his news conference.

He regrouped quickly and was just about perfect in that set’s tiebreaker.

Then it was Alcaraz’s turn to get headed in the right direction, which didn’t take long. He got the last break he would need for a 4-3 edge in the fourth when Medvedev sailed a backhand long, then sat in his sideline chair, locked eyes with his two coaches and started muttering and gesticulating.

"I was playing well," Medvedev said, "and just it was not enough."

Nearly every time Alcaraz emitted one of his "Uh-eh!" two-syllable grunts while unleashing a booming forehand, spectators audibly gasped, regardless of whether the point continued. Often enough, it didn’t: Alcaraz had 24 forehand winners, 20 more than Medvedev.

In addition to the Wimbledon men’s final, Sunday’s sports schedule features the final of the men’s soccer European Championship in Germany, where Spain will meet England.

When Alcaraz alluded to that in his on-court interview by saying, "It’s going to be a really good day for the Spanish people, as well," he drew boos from the locals — perhaps his biggest misstep all day.

Alcaraz smiled and added: "I didn’t say Spain is going to win. I just said that it’s going to be a really fun, fun day."