Race Weekend Central

Slipstream Saturday: The 2026 Formula 1 Grid So Far

The announcement of Aston Martin F1 becoming Honda’s Formula 1 works team has further solidified the 2026 lineup.

Three teams have already confirmed their branding and engine for that season. Three more are unannounced but almost certain. One team is very likely to remain as is.

The other three teams, along with a prospective 11th or even 12th entry are completely up in the air.

Let’s go over the potential grid of 2026.


Red Bull Ford: Red Bull announced that Ford would be coming aboard in February to stick its sticker on the Red Bull Power Trains shop, providing specific support for electricity components.

Audi: Audi will be taking over the current Alfa Romeo Sauber team and will provide it with engines. The curious facet of this situation is Alfa Romeo will leave the team following this year, meaning it could either revert to Sauber branding again or even go to Audi branding early, albeit using Ferrari engines.

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Aston Martin Honda: Honda praised Fernando Alonso in the announcement press conference this week, in light of him lambasting the engine maker back when both were at McLaren.

It’s a very open-ended question as to if Alonso (who turns 45 in 2026) would even still be on the grid; if he’s not and team owner Lawrence Stroll can’t get another big name to pair with his son, Honda has plenty of options even if Yuki Tsunoda isn’t available.

All But Confirmed

Ferrari: I think Ferrari would go out of business before pulling out of Formula 1.

Mercedes: The German team based in Brackley, England, announced a 70 million euro upgrade to its factory just this week. It’s not going anywhere.

AlphaTauri Ford: After some rumors of parent company Red Bull selling the team, it doesn’t seem anywhere near as likely with Red Bull already confirming it’ll have a new team principal next season.

Probable (80% Likelihood)

Haas Ferrari: Gene Haas isn’t going to sell if he already hasn’t. It could move on from Ferrari, but it seems unlikely with the teams having a very close relationship. Haas should also have more focus from Ferrari with Sauber no longer buying engines from it.


Alpine: Who even knows at this point? The Alpine people seem just incredibly incompetent, ever since the departures of Cyril Abiteboul and Alain Prost from senior leadership roles.

When the manufacturer’s CEO warns about how bad the team is performing earlier this month, and as of this week, team principal Otmar Szafnauer still hadn’t talked to him about it, that’s not a good sign.

Alpine could stay, it could sell or it could go back to just being an engine supplier. We’ll probably have a better idea by the end of this summer.

Cadillac, if Andretti is confirmed, would be putting its sticker over the Renault engine logo. So that’s another component on how all these 2026 changes shake out.

McLaren: McLaren was also rumored to be getting the Honda deal before Aston Martin was confirmed for it. There’s no doubting, though, this team will be on the grid in some form in 2026. The question is more where it goes as far as engine manufacturers.

Right now there are no other rumored engine suppliers rumored for F1 with the exception of Cadillac. McLaren would almost certainly not go with Ferrari or Ford.

It may go with Mercedes again, but Renault-Cadillac or Audi could also be potential options. Honda has said it will only be supplying engines to Aston Martin, although of course that could always change.

Williams: It might be strange to put Williams in this category, especially considering its close relationship with Mercedes stemming from Toto Wolff being a former Williams co-owner.

But some may remember that the Alpine plan for Oscar Piastri prior to Alonso’s surprise departure and Piastri’s split to McLaren was to farm him out to Williams. Part of the deal would have been for Williams to swap over to Renault power.

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So although Williams will probably stay where it is, especially if McLaren splits from Mercedes, it wouldn’t be out of character for a switch if the right offer comes around.

Andretti: It would be rather foolish for F1 teams to continue to block Andretti from the grid. The reasons why to accept Andretti are numerous, not the least of which being that not accepting it or another team onto the grid would potentially draw the ire of numerous government entities. A cartel is illegal in both American and the EU, for the record.

LKY SUNZ: Pronounced “lucky suns,” it’s a potential team based in Asia that will be submitting a bid to join the grid along with Andretti. Unlike the Andretti effort, which is very well known, this one is still largely a mystery.

It will have two headquarters ala Haas, one in Europe and one in Asia. Benjamin Durand, who has been trying to enter F1 for years now, is the point man for this team. LKY SUNZ could also be an organization that capable of swaying Honda to provide engines for it.

Anybody else: We’re not scheduled to know who all placed bids to the FIA to join the grid until mid-July. Judging by some names I remember being thrown around from back in my NASCAR days when bidding for a charter opened up, there could be a number of people from completely out of left field. The current F1 grid, at the very least, should put their bids into consideration if the teams are approved by the FIA.

About the author

Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.

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