Ford has announced it will make a return to Formula 1, partnering with the Oracle Red Bull Racing team for the 2026 season to at least 2030. The Blue Oval has a rich history in Formula 1 and is the third most successful engine manufacturer – after Mercedes and Ferrari – in the history of the motorsport.
The American carmaker’s involvement goes all the way back to the 1960s and the DFV (Double Four Valve) engine, which was built in partnership with British engineering firm Cosworth, that took 155 wins from 262 races between 1967 and 1985. In total, Ford have played a part in 10 constructors’ championships and 13 drivers’ championships. Ford was last involved in 2004 with the Jaguar Racing team before selling the outfit to Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, which eventually became Red Bull Racing.
Ford’s return to the F1 after more than two decades coincides with the sport’s switch to new engine regulations that will go live in 2026. The carmaker will not only supply power units to the Red Bull Racing team, but also its sister team Scuderia AlphaTauri.
“[Ford’s interest] started two-plus years ago, when we started to see and understand what the future of the sport was with the technology changes, the commitment to sustainable fuels, the net carbon zero and the change to the technical regulations to make electrification an even bigger component of the hybrid power unit,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports.
“Ford will provide technical expertise in all areas where it can add value to the front-running world championship team. Areas to be explored together are in the combustion engine development and key developments like battery cell and electric motor technology, power unit control software and analytics,” the carmaker said in its release.
Meanwhile, Jim Farley, president and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, said “Ford’s return to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing is all about where we are going as a company – increasingly electric, software-defined, modern vehicles and experiences. F1 will be an incredibly cost-effective platform to innovate, share ideas and technologies, and engage with tens of millions of new customers.”
Ford will replace Honda as Red Bull Powertrains’ technical partner, bringing an end to a successful relationship in 2025 that has brought two drivers’ championships and a constructors’ title to Red Bull Racing. Christian Horner, Oracle Red Bull Racing team principal and CEO, was full of praise for the Japanase manufacturer, calling them an “incredible company”.
“We’ve had an incredible partnership with Honda and when they initially announced their withdrawal from Formula 1 in 2020, it was with great sadness and that’s what prompted the creation of Red Bull Powertrains, to take control for our own future. And as we set out on that journey, there was a change of plan with Honda, thankfully, to agree to continue to supply engines till the end of 2025, until we were building up our resource for 2026.” he said.
“Now with an OEM partner like Ford our paths are different for the 2026 season. We wish Honda the very best of luck for 2026 as their plans look to crystalise. But between now and then we will be working very closely and looking to build on the success that we have achieved so far,” Horner continued.
“This is a purely commercial and technical deal, so there is no exchange of any shares or participation within the business. It’s a very straightforward agreement where we will have the ability to share and have access to R&D, particularly on the EV side and self-technology, software development and so on,” he added.
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