Ford is returning to Formula 1 after a two-decade absence. The legendary American manufacturer and Red Bull Powertrains have formed a long-term strategic technological cooperation. They will begin the development of the next-generation hybrid powertrain, which will be used in Formula 1 cars starting in 2026.
"This is the beginning of a thrilling new chapter in Ford's racing history, which began with my great-grandfather driving to victory. It aided in the development of our company, "stated Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company's Executive Chairman. "Ford and Oracle Red Bull Racing are returning to Formula 1, bringing the company's long legacy of innovation, sustainability, and electrification to one of the world's most visible stages."
Beginning in 2023, Ford and Red Bull Powertrains will begin building a power unit in compliance with the new technical standards that will take effect for the 2026 season, which will combine a 350 kW electric motor and a new ICE engine that can run entirely on renewable fuels.
"Ford's coming back to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing is where we are going as a company - increasingly electrified, software-based, modern vehicles and experiences," Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company, said. "F1 is a fantastically low-cost platform for inventing, sharing ideas and technology, and engaging with tens of millions of new clients."
Ford supplies technological expertise in all areas where a world-champion team can benefit. The development of ICE engines, as well as other critical development targets such as battery cell and electric motor technologies, as well as power unit control software and analytics, will be examined together.
"It's amazing to welcome Ford back to Formula 1 with this relationship," stated Christian Horner, CEO of Oracle Red Bull Racing Team. "As an independent engine producer, we benefit from the experience of a large automaker such as Ford. Ford already has a rich, multigenerational motorsport history, and starting the next chapter as Red Bull Ford is fascinating for us at Red Bull Powertrains. There is still time till 2026, but our job must begin today. We are looking forward to the future and the continued development of Oracle Red Bull Racing."
Ford will be the sole automobile manufacturer competing in motorsport from grassroots to Formula 1 by 2026. Ford competes in the World Endurance Championship and the International Motor Sports Association, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Mustang GT3, the World Rally Championship with the M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 car, the Baja 1000 race with the Ranger and Bronco, and the NASCAR, NHRA, and Supercars series with the Mustang.
Ford also applies its motorsport expertise to its production vehicles, allowing customers to benefit more swiftly from breakthroughs, cutting-edge technologies, and software. This is also reflected in a new relationship at the pinnacle of motorsport in the development of Ford's future electrified vehicles.
"Ford Performance is entering a new era," Farley says. "With Red Bull Racing, we are contending at the top of motorsport to win the F1 Championship. The Ford Mustang, the world's most popular sports coupe, competes in grassroots and top championships such as Australian Super Cars, NASCAR, and the Le Mans race. And we're consolidating our dominance in off-road racing, such as the World Rally Championship, King of the Hammers, and the Baja 1000. At the same time, we continue to present interesting concept cars to the globe, such as the SuperVan 4 and the Mach-E 1400."
Ford is investing $50 billion in vehicle electrification globally. The F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E are the company's cornerstones, and it is the second-largest electric car producer in the United States. Furthermore, the total electric Ford E-Transit is the market leader in several nations worldwide. Ford's Ford+ plan intends to address the growing demand for completely electric vehicles by increasing electric vehicle production. By the end of this year, the business hopes to have reached a global annual production capacity of 600,000 electric cars. By the end of 2026, the company expects to produce 2 million electric cars per year worldwide.
From 2026, Red Bull Ford Powertrains will supply power units to Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri.