The Ford brand has had storied experiences in motorsport, we all know the Ford vs. Ferrari movie right? but the blue oval didn’t stop there. The brand has had forays and small successes’ in other motorsport disciplines like Rally, and even Formula 1.
However, their last F1 involvement didn’t exactly go as planned and eventually lead them to pull out from the sport… until now.
Ford x Red Bull F1
After almost 2 decades of absence from F1 the great American automaker is making a triumphant return, not just with any team but with the reigning champions and ever-dominant Red Bull racing group.
The iconic American automaker and Red Bull Powertrains are entering into a long-term strategic technical partnership for the development of a next-gen hybrid power unit to be used from the 2026 Formula 1 season onward.
Red Bull Ford will provide the power units for both the Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri teams from 2026 to at least 2030.
“This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in our brand’s motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather won a race that helped launch our company,” said Bill Ford, executive chair. “We alongside world champions, Oracle Red Bull Racing, are returning to the pinnacle of the sport, bringing Ford’s long tradition of innovation, sustainability, and electrification to one of the world’s most visible stages.”
Starting from 2023, Ford and Red Bull Powertrains will work to develop the power unit that will be part of the new technical regulations, including a 350 kW electric motor and a new combustion engine able to accept fully sustainable fuels, ready for the 2026 season.
The automaker 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.
In 2026, Ford will be the only manufacturer to be competing in racing disciplines from grassroots motorsports to Formula 1 comprising WEC and IMSA including Le Mans 24 Hours. So could the brand be back to its winning ways in F1? we have yet to see, but with Red Bull as a partner, it’s highly likely.