Yuki Tsunoda has said he is pleased to be on Honda’s wish list for their official return to Formula 1 with Aston Martin in 2026, but it is too soon to contemplate a move.
The Japanese manufacturer confirmed last week that it will join forces with Aston Martin from the 2026 season onwards in a works capacity.
During the press conference, Tsunoda was mentioned as potential candidate for the project. The 23-year-old has been a member of Honda’s Formula Dream Project since 2016 and was supported by the manufacturer on his way to F1.
Addressing the rumours ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Tsunoda insisted that although he was pleased that he is considered to be a candidate for the team, a move is “too far away” to think about.
“I’m very excited [about Honda’s return],” the AlphaTauri driver said. “As part of the Honda family, it’s good to see them back in the Formula 1 environment.
“It was actually a shame when they left the sport after such a massive year with Red Bull [in 2021].
“So, I would say it’s good for them. They like their challenges and I hope they have another successful season with Aston Martin.”
Reacting to speculation over his long-term future and the comments of Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe, Tsunoda said that he does not feel any added pressure and 2026 is too far ahead to think about.
“It’s still three years until 2026. I don’t feel much pressure from it. I have a lot of things to prove anyway until [then].
“But it’s good that he is saying the right things. You want to at least be on the list which means you are proving your skills.
“But at the same time, obviously Red Bull have been supporting me for a long time, and I’m part of Red Bull so we will have to see the situation then and how we feel, and Red Bull as well.”
Despite dismissing the reports of a move to Aston Martin Honda, it’s clear that the Japanese driver is excited by the project.
“The first time I went to Honda’s factory in Sukura in the last year, how they operate the factory is just phenomenal,” he continued.
“It’s really crazy, super detailed. I chatted with everyone, they’re really professional. [Since Honda returned to F1 in 2015] they progressed massively quickly and now they’re fighting for the championship.
“So yeah, it’s good for them and for Aston as well. They are progressing a lot, so those two combined with each other will definitely be a threat for competitors.
“It’s an interesting matching, I’m excited to see how they go.”