Ford and Red Bull are coming for Andretti-Cadillac.
Ford has officially announced that it will make an F1 comeback as a powertrain supplier from 2026, partnering with Red Bull Oracle F1 racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri. These rumors have been swirling around for a while, suggesting that Ford would merely pay Red Bull to put the Blue Oval on the engine. Ford and Red Bull made the announcements at the unveiling of RB19.
As it turns out, the deal is so much more than that. 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 as part of an in-depth technical partnership.
"This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford's motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather [Henry Ford] won a race that helped launch our company," said Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company. "Ford, alongside world champions, Oracle Red Bull Racing, is 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.
"There are few manufacturers who have such a celebrated motorsport history as Ford, so to see them coming back to the FIA Formula One World Championship is excellent news. It further underlines the success of the 2026 Power Unit Regulations that have at their heart a commitment to both sustainability and spectacle, and of course, having more interest from the United States is important for the continued growth of the world's top motorsport category.
While the power units will only be used from 2026, Ford and Red Bull will start developing the power unit according to the new engine regulations. The new power unit will consist of a 350 kW electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The power split between the two powertrains will be 50/50.
Ford will also provide technical expertise in all areas where it can add value, primarily the electric side of things. Together, the two teams will explore combustion engine development, battery cell and electric motor technology, power unit control software, and analytics.
"It's fantastic to be welcoming Ford back into Formula 1 through this partnership," said Christian Horner, Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO. "As an independent engine manufacturer to have the ability to benefit from an OEM's experience like Ford puts us in good stead against the competition. They are a manufacturer rich in motoring history that spans generations."
That history includes supplying engines that powered a plethora of famous drivers to victory, from Jim Clark to Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, with Schumi's race win behind the wheel of a Ford-powered Benetton in 1994 being the most recent.
"For us as Red Bull Powertrains to open the next chapter of that dynasty, as Red Bull Ford, is tremendously exciting. 2026 is still a while a way but for us the work already starts as we look to a new future and a continued evolution of Oracle Red Bull Racing," continues Horner.
This is a massive turnaround for Horner, who turned down Porsche because they wanted too much control over power unit development. Red Bull even established its own in-house power unit building facility with the help of Honda to retain as much control as possible.
When Ford begins racing in 2026, it will not only compete against other American rivals like Haas and Andretti-Cadillac. It will also be the only manufacturer competing in everything from grassroots racing to the pinnacle of motorsport, as its racing exploits in the next few years will even include factory-backed Mustang GT3s at Le Mans.
"We are entering an exciting new age for Ford Performance," said Farley. "We will be competing to win in F1, the pinnacle for motorsport, with Red Bull Racing. You will see the world's most popular sports coupe, the Mustang, race from the grassroots to Australian Supercars to NASCAR to Le Mans, and we will build our off-road leadership in the World Rally Championship, King of Hammers, the Baja 1000, and more. All the while, we'll continue to excite the world with cool demonstrators like SuperVan 4 and Mustang Mach-E 1400."
We guess this means Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Yuki Tsunoda, and Nyck de Vries will be swapping their Honda Civic Type R and Acura NSXs for a brand-new Mustang soon.
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