The Blue Oval wants to go Grand Prix racing for the first time in decades.
With new F1 legislation coming into effect for the 2026 season, new automakers are being lured to the sport, with the latest rumor suggesting that Ford wants in on the action, possibly working on a deal with Red Bull Racing after the latter's talks with Porsche fell through earlier this year.
Formula 1 off-season silliness is in full swing. Team principals are playing musical chairs (or dropping like flies), the Piasco driver crisis has finally ended, and F1's upcoming manufacturers, Audi and Porsche, generate a new rumor almost daily.
A report from Autosport cites the growth and popularity F1 has experienced stateside as one of the main reasons for Ford's fresh interest in the sport. TV series like Netflix's Formula 1: Drive to Survive and new Grands Prix in Las Vegas and Miami have built hype around motor racing, and soon it may be more than just the Ford Mustang and Ford GT racing for the Blue Oval.
The Blue Oval isn't planning a works team, however, and is allegedly looking to partner with reigning Constructors' Champions, Red Bull Racing. Red Bull's history stems from Ford-owned Jaguar F1 in the early 2000s, which was sold to Red Bull before becoming one of the most successful teams of the modern era.
Red Bull was involved in discussions with Porsche earlier this year at around the same time that Audi announced entry into F1, but the relationship turned sour after complications arose and opinions differed on where operations should be based. Porsche is still looking to enter, while Red Bull claimed it was open to working with different automakers. F1 bosses also said that there were other OEMs besides Porsche and Audi that were interested in a seat at the F1 table.
Should the Red Bull rumors be true, the team is still supposedly committed to producing its own powertrains after the Honda deal expires in 2025. But Red Bull boss Christian Horner is always open to opportunity, saying that "We are fully focused on a Red Bull power unit, and if there was a like-minded partner that could contribute something to the project, then of course you would have to absolutely consider that. But it's not a prerequisite."
Red Bull and Ford already have a working relationship in WRC, which is another supporting bit of data as to why the pair might be keen on aligning.
The rumor mill suggests that the deal would be similar to that of Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo Sauber at present, which is more of a naming rights partnership than a technical one. While Audi is getting involved as an engine supplier, and Porsche wants to do the same, Ford would be happy to leave Red Bull in charge of all technical details.
But it opens another can of worms, as Honda has registered with the FIA for 2026. If Red Bull aligns with Ford, Honda will likely go it alone.