After almost twenty years away from motorsport, Ford is getting back to Formula 1. The automaker is collaborating with Red Bull to make a next-gen hybrid power unit for Red Bull Racing and sibling team AlphaTauri. The teams would use Ford-powered engines between 2026 and at least 2030. Ford will supply “expertise in areas including battery cell and electric motor technology as well as power unit control software and analytics,” as per a statement.
Ford has a long history in Formula 1 dating back to the 1960s. As an engine manufacturer, it played a role in 13 driver’s championships and 10 constructors’ championships before it stepped away from the sport in the year 2004. However, upcoming rule alterations regarding increased engine electrification and fully sustainable fuels cautioned Ford to make a comeback.
Ford delivers its first F-150 Lightning as EV truck warfare kicks into excessive gear
“Ford’s return to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing is all about where we are heading as an organization — progressively electric, software-defined, modern vehicles and experiences,” Ford president and CEO Jim Farley claimed. “F1 will be a fabulously price-effective platform to:
- Share ideas
- Interact with tens of millions of new users or customers.”
Red Bull initiated building its own F1 engine for the first time as Honda, its current partner, is leaving the sport to place more of its attention on fuel cell and EV technology. Although Honda officially departed F1 at the end of 2021, it’s continuing to support Red Bull until new engine rules come into force in 2026, as The Race notes. It was anticipated that Red Bull would require some assistance to build a hybrid system.
Audi declared in the previous year that it will build a hybrid F1 engine. This week, it was unveiled that the automaker has purchased a minority stake in Sauber, which will become its works team.