Only Ferrari engines and Mercedes aggregates won more often in Formula 1 than drives from Ford. After almost two decades, the US manufacturer is returning to the premier motorsport class - as a partner of Red Bull Racing. Alpha Tauri also benefits.
The US car manufacturer Ford returns to Formula 1 after more than 20 years and enters into a partnership with Red Bull. For the 2026 season, the traditional brand will once again be part of the racing series that it dominated in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Ford and the team of world champion Max Verstappen announced the strategic partnership on the sidelines of the presentation of the new Red Bull RB19 in New York. The car manufacturer will therefore contribute its know-how in the areas of battery cell and electric motor technology. The software for the control of the power unit and analytics is also provided. The cooperation also affects Red Bull junior partner AlphaTauri.
The joint work on the engine for 2026, when new regulations take effect, will begin this year. Red Bull is developing the drives for the coming season, which begins on March 5 in Bahrain, in cooperation with Honda at the Powertrains plant in Milton Keynes. Red Bull has also already started work on the 2026 drive. "It's fantastic to welcome Ford back to Formula 1 through this partnership," said Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner. Ford is a manufacturer with a long motorsport history that spans generations.
Ford CEO Bill Ford spoke of the start of an "exciting new chapter in Ford's motorsport history." An important reason for Ford's return is the electrification of the racing series. Further arguments would have been the desired CO₂ neutrality from 2030 and the development of new markets, in particular the increased presence on the American home market.
Formula 1 is currently experiencing a boom worldwide, but especially in the USA. The racing series takes this into account: In the coming season there are three US races (Miami, Austin, Las Vegas) on the calendar. The American racing great Michael Andretti is also pushing into the starting field with General Motors (Cadillac). In Logan Sargeant (Williams), a US driver again has a regular cockpit.
Ford was last involved in Formula 1 in 2004 as the engine manufacturer for the Jordan team around German drivers Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock. However, the brand with the blue oval has a proud tradition in the premier class. With a total of 176 Grand Prix victories, Ford is the third most successful engine manufacturer in the all-time list behind Ferrari (243) and Mercedes-Benz (212).