Mike Krack: I cannot see why Alonso won’t race with us in 2026

Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia - March 31, 2023 Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso during practice REUTERS/Darrian Traynor

Mike Krack, team principal at Aston Martin, has made clear that Fernando Alonso is still a central part of the team’s plans for the long term – even as far as 2026.

Since his arrival, the Spanish driver has made a tremendous impact on the British squad, largely maximising the AMR23’s potential and securing crucial podiums to start the year.

Although the work being orchestrated by Dan Fallows and Eric Blandin has been the key to Aston’s resurgence, Alonso has delivered on the impressive development that has taken place at the Silverstone factory.

With that said, the announcement of Aston Martin’s agreement with Honda for 2026 has triggered plenty of speculation about the Double World Champion’s long-term future.

However, both Aston Martin and Honda have been eager to put these conversations to bed.

Any objective analysis of Alonso’s time with McLaren Honda will conclude that – though far from ideal – his team radio comments were justified under the circumstances.

Moreover, extrapolating these moments on team radio as relevant to his relationship with Honda almost a decade later is not based on reality.

Whilst Alonso’s team radio messages could be abrasive, an organisation of Honda’s magnitude and scale is more than capable of looking back on the situation rationally.

After all, McLaren was largely to blame for the painful sequence of performances from 2015-2018.

In any case, Mike Krack has dismissed any reasons for Alonso to stop racing with Aston Martin many years into the future:

“There is no reason to think that Fernando will not be racing with us in 2026. In 2026, we will be the only team with Honda engines unless the regulations force us.

“We will develop our gearbox, but we are with the FIA to see common components. Honda contract until 2030,” Krack told the media ahead of this weekend’s action in Monaco.

The President of Honda Racing has already brushed aside any talk of ill-will between the Japanese organisation and Fernando Alonso, describing the Spaniard as a “genius” driver.

Honda F1

Whilst this could be nothing more than lip service, Alonso will almost certainly retain his seat at Aston Martin if he maintains the speed he is currently showing.

To be clear, it is perfectly plausible that he might consider retiring in 2026.

However, given that his divorce from Alpine was because the French outfit was unwilling to offer him a multi-year deal, it would be premature to write off Alonso from staying in F1 for many more years.

Focusing on the AMR23’s performance this weekend, Mike Krack was as reserved as ever about how the team will fare compared to his rivals:

“Qualifying is very important here. If you don’t start in the first rows, it is very difficult to win.

“There are many things that can go wrong. We don’t know how the others will do with maximum aero load. You have to have your feet on the ground. Coming here, we have some updates from Imola.”

Aston Martin is in a very exciting position, so it will be crucial to maintain this promising form and (as the team has already done with its Honda deal) capitalise on the strong foundations they have established.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang