The announcement of Aston Martin F1 as Honda’s Formula 1 works team further strengthens the 2026 line-up.
Three teams have confirmed their brands and engines for this season. Three more unannounced but almost certain. One team is more likely to remain as it is.
The other three teams, along with a possible 11th or even 12th place finish are up in the air.
Let’s go through the possible networks of 2026.
Red Bull Ford: Red Bull announced that Ford will come in February to put its sticker on the Red Bull Power Train shop, offering special support for the electric components.
Audi: Audi will take over the current Alfa Romeo Sauber team and power it with engines. The strange side of this situation is that Alfa Romeo will leave the team this year, which means it could go back to the Sauber brand again or even go to the Audi brand early, albeit with a Ferrari engine.
Aston Martin Honda: Honda praised Fernando Alonso at this week’s announcement press conference, given that he blasted the engine manufacturer when they were both at McLaren.
It is a very open question whether Alonso (who turns 45 in 2026) will still be on the grid; if not and team owner Lawrence Stroll couldn’t come up with another big name to pair with his son, Honda had plenty of options even if Yuki Tsunoda wasn’t there.
All But Confirmed
Ferrari: I think Ferrari will run out of business before they pull out of Formula 1.
Mercedes: The German team based in Brackley, England, announced a €70 million upgrade of its factory this week. It’s not going anywhere.
AlphaTauri Ford: After several rumors of Red Bull’s parent company selling the team, it seems unlikely as Red Bull has already confirmed that it will have a new team principal next season.
Probability (80% Probability)
Haas Ferrari: Gene Haas wouldn’t be sold if he did. That could change from Ferrari, but that seems unlikely for a team with which they share such a close relationship. Haas should also pay more attention to Ferrari and Sauber no longer buy engines from him.
It is unknown
Alps: Who knows at this point? The Alpine people seem completely helpless, since the departure of Cyril Abiteboul and Alain Prost from the main leadership roles.
When the company’s CEO warned about how poorly the team was performing earlier this month, and as of this week, team principal Otmar Szafnauer still hadn’t spoken to him about it, it wasn’t a good sign.
Alpine can survive, it can sell or go back to being an engine only seller. We’ll probably have a better idea by the end of this summer.
Cadillac, if confirmed by Andretti, will stick its sticker above the Renault engine logo. So that’s another part of how all these 2026 changes are going away.
mclaren: McLaren was also said to be in talks with Honda before Aston Martin was confirmed for it. There is no doubt, however, that this team will be on the grid in some form in 2026. The question is where the engine manufacturers have gone.
There are currently no other purported F1 engine suppliers other than Cadillac. McLaren will almost certainly not use Ferrari or Ford.
It could take Mercedes again, but Renault-Cadillac or Audi could also be possible options. Honda has said it will only supply the engine to Aston Martin, although that is of course subject to change.
Williams: It may seem odd to include Williams in this category, especially given its close relationship with Mercedes which stems from Toto Wolff as Williams’ former co-owner.
But some may recall that Alpine’s plan for Oscar Piastry before the sudden departure of Alonso and Piastry’s farewell to McLaren was to bring Williams. Part of the deal was for Williams to replace Renault power.
So while Williams will probably stay put, especially if McLaren part ways with Mercedes, it wouldn’t hurt to switch if the right offer came along.
Andretti: It’s kind of ridiculous that an F1 team keeps barring Andretti from the grid. There are many reasons to accept Andretti, even not accepting him or any other team on the grid would upset many governing bodies. For the record, the companies are illegal in the US and the EU.
LKY SUNZ: Pronounced “lucky suns,” it’s an expected Asian-based team that will bid to join the grid alongside Andretti. Unlike Andretti’s much-vaunted venture, this one remains a mystery.
It will have two Haas-style headquarters, one in Europe and one in Asia. Benjamin Durand, who has been trying to get into F1 for years, is the perfect man for this team. LKY SUNZ may also be an organization capable of persuading Honda to produce its engines.
Others: We are not scheduled to know who has made a bid to the FIA to join the grid until mid-July. Judging by some of the names, I remember going back to my NASCAR days when the contract bidding opened, there was probably a number of people coming out of the field. The current F1 grid, at least, will have to consider their bid if the team is approved by the FIA.
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