Ford announces return to Formula One for 2026 with Red Bull

NEW YORK — Ford has confirmed it will return to Formula 1 in 2026 when it joins forces with world champion Red Bull.

The American car giant announced its return to the sport at Red Bull’s launch event in New York on Friday morning.

The deal sees Ford working with Red Bull’s recently formed engine company, Red Bull Powertrains, which is based at the F1 team’s factory in Milton Keynes, England and is already working on a powerplant that will meet the new engine regulations F1 met for 2026.

Ford’s involvement has been described as a strategic partnership and “will provide expertise in areas such as battery cell and electric motor technology, as well as power unit control software and analytics” and “internal combustion engine development.”

Red Bull decided to build its own powerplant facility in 2021 after current engine supplier Honda showed uncertainty about its long-term commitment to F1. Red Bull and its sister team AlphaTauri will continue to use Honda engines until the end of the current regulatory cycle in 2025.

The new powerplant regulations for 2026 mean that F1 cars will continue to be powered by V6 turbocharged hybrids, but with increased electric power and the use of sustainable synthetic fuels in the internal combustion engine.

“Today’s news of Ford coming into Formula 1 from 2026 is great for the sport and we’re delighted that they are joining the incredible automotive partners who are already in Formula 1,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali. “They are a global brand with an incredible heritage in the racing and automotive worlds and they see the tremendous value our platform offers with over half a billion fans around the world.

“Our commitment to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and to introduce sustainable fuels into F1 cars from 2026 is also a major reason for their decision to enter F1. We believe our sport offers opportunity and reach like no other, and we can’t wait to see the Ford logo on F1’s iconic circuits from 2026.”

Bill Ford, the automaker’s chief executive officer, added: “Ford is returning to the forefront of the sport, bringing Ford’s long heritage of innovation, sustainability and electrification to one of the most visible stages in the world.”

The Ford deal marks the American manufacturer’s first involvement in Formula 1 since selling its Jaguar team to Red Bull in 2004 for a small fee. It also coincides with the sport’s booming popularity in the United States

Reigning champions Red Bull are still based in the same factory that Ford helped build in 1996 as a key supporter of the then Stewart Grand Prix team.

Ford has a rich history in F1, most notably by funding Cosworth’s development of the legendary DFV engine in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. The Cosworth DFV remains the most successful engine in F1 history, having given a number of different teams 155 victories over a 16-year period.

Following Ford’s announcement, F1’s governing body, the FIA, confirmed that six engine manufacturers have lined up to power the grid under the new regulations in 2026, including Red Bull’s current supplier Honda.

The news is significant as Honda initially planned to leave F1 to focus on all-electric technology. Ford and Honda will join existing manufacturers Ferrari, Mercedes and Alpine, as well as new addition Audi.

Ford’s return to F1 also coincides with an attempt by its historic rival in the US auto sector, General Motors, to enter its Cadillac marque for 2026.

GM has partnered with Andretti Autosport in hopes of fielding an all-new team, but entry is conditional on it being successful in a formal selection process that started Thursday. Ford announces return to Formula One for 2026 with Red Bull

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