Ford partners with Red Bull Racing team for F1 comeback
US-based automotive giant Ford has decided to make a comeback to Formula 1 in 2026 with the Oracle Red Bull Racing team. The carmaker has partnered with Red Bull Powertrains for developing the next-generation hybrid power units for the 2026 season. Nearly two decades after its exit from the pinnacle of open-wheel racing, the blue-oval-badged automaker has decided to re-enter as an engine supplier.
Why does this story matter?
- Ford has been quite successful in F1, winning 10 constructors' championships and 13 drivers' championships during its time in the motorsport. Legendary drivers such as Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna, and Michael Schumacher secured their first wins with a Ford powerplant.
- The automaker decided to step down from the sport, after regulation changes before the 2005 season. However, it is now making a comeback.
Ford will develop powerplants along with Red Bull Powertrains
Ford and Red Bull Powertrains will begin developing the new power unit by the end of this year. The next-generation powerplants will have to meet the upcoming technical regulations being implemented from the 2026 season. The powertrain will have to operate with sustainable fuels and will feature a 350kW electric motor for hybrid assistance. The automaker will also provide technical expertise on various aspects.
Formula 1 is gradually becoming popular in the US
With the rising popularity of Formula 1 in the US in recent years, many US-based automakers and racing outfits are showing keen interest in joining the pinnacle of formula racing. Andretti Global and General Motors have also collaborated to join the motorsport soon.
The supply deal with Red Bull will run until 2030
According to the announcement, the automaker will supply F1 powertrains under the new regulations to the Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri teams. The supply deal will run from 2026 through 2030. With the increasing demand for software-defined modern race cars with electrified power units, both Ford and Red Bull Powertrains should likely benefit from their individual expertise.
Start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford's motorsports history
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford said, "This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford's motorsports history that began when my great-grandfather won a race that helped launch our company."