Ford officially Returning to F1 in 2026 with Red Bull

REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
The Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany.

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Ford will return to Formula One with reigning champions Red Bull in 2026 when the sport enters a new engine era, the U.S. carmaker said on Friday atthe team’s 2023 livery launch in New York.

The U.S. carmaker will partner Red Bull Powertrains, the company established to build engines for Red Bull and sister team AlphaTauri after an existing customer arrangement with Honda expires.

Ford said it would provide expertise in areas including battery cell and electric motor technology, as well as power unit control software and analytics.

Red Bull Ford will provide power units to both Red Bull teams until at least 2030 and the news was welcome by Formula One Management and the governing FIA.

“The news today that Ford is coming to Formula One from 2026 is great for the sport and we are excited to see them join the incredible automotive partners already in Formula One,” Formula One Chief Executive Stefano Domenicali said.

Ford sold their Jaguar branded team to Red Bull in 2004 and the current champions are still based at the same factory in central England.

The blue oval last appeared in Formula One with Jordan in 2004 but the company remains the sport’s third most successful engine manufacturer of all time.

“This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford’s motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather won a race that helped launch our company,” said executive chairman Bill Ford.

Formula One will have a new power unit from 2026 using 100% sustainable fuels and a greater electrical component.

“Ford’s return to Formula One with Red Bull Racing is all about where we are going as a company — increasingly electric, software-defined, modern vehicles and experiences,” said Ford president and CEO Jim Farley.

“F1 will be an incredibly cost-effective platform to innovate, share ideas and technologies, and engage with tens of millions of new customers.”

Farley drove an electric Ford car into the launch venue after the announcement.

Ford’s announcement comes after rival General Motors and their Cadillac brand teamed up with Andretti Autosport who are seeking to enter Formula One as an 11th team.

Formula One’s governing body on Thursday formally started a process that could lead to new teams entering the championship from 2025.