Ford will supply battery and hybrid technology under the new power unit regulations to Red Bull when it returns to Formula 1 in 2026.
The American automotive giant was last involved in F1 in 2004 when it sold its works team — then running under the Jaguar name — to Red Bull. But it has now confirmed a tie-up with the team it sold Jaguar to, with funding and technical input forming the basis of a 2026 partnership that will see both Red Bull and AlphaTauri running Ford-badged power units.
Ford’s input is largely focused on the electrification aspects, but global director for Ford Performance Motorsports, Mark Rushbrook, says the main hub will be at Red Bull’s existing F1 campus to ensure the best possible collaboration.
“The foundation of the Red Bull Racing team and Red Bull Ford Powertrains is in Milton Keynes,” Rushbrook told RACER. “It’s really good seeing on that campus the very focused effort, because to put the best race car on the track and two in, you’ve got to have the best total car with the power unit integrated as part of it. So that all needs to live together.
“What they already had in plans in terms of the new building for the powertrains team, new dynos, test infrastructure there – that’s the right place to keep the focal point, physically. Certainly we have significant global resources that can contribute to that, so where it makes sense to do work and testing in other parts of the world using our resources, we will use those.
“The people focus will also be in Milton Keynes but supported with our global team that we also have. We’ve got people in the United States, in Europe and in Australia supporting all of our racing programs. That will continue, and we’ll ultimately have some people on-site in Milton Keynes as part of the power unit development.”
The deal means Red Bull’s partnership with Honda will end after 2025, having carried Max Verstappen to his first drivers’ championship in 2021 and then been the basis for a title double last season when Red Bull Powertrains took over the Honda IP and running of the engines.
From Ford’s perspective, RACER understands the investment in Formula 1 will not have any impact on its existing motorsport programs.
You’re not dreaming. It’s real. We’re back in #F1, partnering with @RedBullRacing 🏎⚡️ #FordReturns pic.twitter.com/NSLBJ9kQSz
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) February 3, 2023