There was the misguided belief McLaren and Honda could rekindle former glories that saw them dominate F1 from 1988 to 1991.
But given the Japanese manufacturing giant had returned a year after the introduction of new power unit regulations, it ended up floundering, leaving Alonso often bitterly frustrated.
During the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix, Alonso infamously described Honda's power unit as a “GP2 engine” after being easily overtaken by a Toro Rosso. It was a comment he conceded five years later that he looked back on with regret.
After suffering another PU failure during qualifying for the Brazilian GP, Alonso found a chair and watched the remainder of the session from an embankment overlooking the Interlagos circuit.
Over the three years of McLaren's ill-fated partnership with Honda, Alonso was never higher than fifth in a grand prix, scoring a measly 82 points from 58 races.
Whilst there is a slim possibility Alonso will still be racing in F1 in 2026 as he will be 44 when that season starts, Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe would welcome the sight of the Spanish driver in a Honda-powered Aston Martin.
“He is such a respectable driver,” said Watanabe, speaking to selected media, including Speedcafe, to announce the confirmation of the new partnership.
“The selection of the drivers is up to the team to decide but if we were to team up with Alonso, we have no objections whatsoever to him driving.”
“Fantastic” for Aston Martin to have a fit, hungry Alonso in 2026
Martin Whitmarsh, group CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, has confirmed to holding talks with Alonso about Honda's appointment as the team's new PU partner, ending what will be a 17-year association with Mercedes.
Whitmarsh insists Alonso's potential ongoing presence in the team was not a matter for discussion with Honda, and that the 41-year-old sees the bigger picture given what the manufacturer has since achieved with Red Bull.
“Clearly, Fernando's doing a great job in the team, and we're delighted to have him as part of our team,” said Whitmarsh. “He's making a great contribution both on and off the track.
“Obviously, I spoke to Fernando a little while ago about the direction that we intended to go.
“He is a very intelligent individual. Everyone here is referring to some comments (the GP2 remark) that were made, probably in the heat of battle, which were quite memorable I suppose for some, but I think he understands and respects what Honda is doing.
“We've got to be aware – and we haven't said it but we should be saying it – Honda won the '21 and '22 world championships, and unless we can beat them this year, they're going to do it again.
“So they are a very great partner for us, and I think Fernando sees that.”
Following his arrival from Alpine over the winter, Alonso has delivered for Aston Martin in a car in which the performance has caught many by surprise.
After four third-place finishes in the five grands prix so far this season, Alonso is proving he is as fit as ever and is giving no thought as yet as to when he might retire for a second time.
Whitmarsh sees no reason why Alonso could not continue until 2026 if fitness and desire allow.
“Probably 2026 is outside his planning horizon at the moment but who knows,” added Whitmarsh.
“We've got to give him a car in which he can consistently win races. We've made a reasonable step forward this year. We're not yet where we need to be but we are continuing to develop the team, the facilities, and we'll get stronger.
“We'll have a discussion before '26 I'm sure about where Fernando's future lies. I hope he'll be around for a number of years and that'd be great.
“If he's as fit and as competitive as he is today, then it'll be fantastic to have him in the car in 2026 as well.”