Ford is officially coming back to Formula 1 racing as a powertrain partner with Red Bull Powertrains. The Blue Oval is set to make its return for the 2026 season when all-new engine regulations are set to go into effect. This is the second big American manufacturer to announce intentions to hop into Formula 1 as of late — Andretti Motorsport and Cadillac just announced their proposed team and engine supplier bid a month ago.
As for the teams Ford will be partnering with for powertrains development, Ford announced that it will partner with both Red Bull Oracle and Red Bull's sister team, Scuderia Alpha Tauri. Yes, the same Red Bull that has won the past two driver’s championships and last season’s constructors’ championship. It’s hard to dream up a more ideal situation for Ford when it comes to partnering with a competent F1 team, as Red Bull is really on its game these days. The partnership is being called "Red Bull Ford" and will start from 2026 and last until at least 2030.
Ford's announcement details that Ford and Red Bull will work to develop both a new combustion engine that will run on sustainable fuels and a new 350 kW electric motor that the technical regulations require come 2026. Ford says it will provide expertise in areas like combustion engine development, battery cell and electric motor technology, power unit control software and analytics.
The last time Ford participated in F1 was 2004, but Ford has a long and storied history in the sport to point to as evidence it can succeed today. Ford has played part in 10 constructors’ championships and 13 driver’s championships since the company’s debut in 1968 as a Lotus partner. Ford’s most recent major success came in 1994 with Benetton when Michael Schumacher won the driver’s championship.
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) February 3, 2023
“This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford’s motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather [Henry Ford] won a race that helped launch our company,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford. “Ford is returning to the pinnacle of the sport, bringing Ford’s long tradition of innovation, sustainability and electrification to one of the world’s most visible stages.”
The new regulations requiring increasing electrification and the use of sustainable fuels is a huge catalyst for Ford getting into the sport. More and more teams are getting involved with F1 as a result of the changing 2026 regulations. Porsche was originally pegged as a Red Bull engine supplier before that fizzled out, and Audi is officially bought into Sauber (currently branded as Alfa Romeo) for 2026.