The Red Bull-Ford partnership is finally official as confirmed by the American brand in its press release. The brand will make a return to the sport in 2026 and partner with Red Bull in what will be a new era of technical regulations in F1. This comes after significant murmurs of a possible announcement of the partnership on the eve of the Austrian team's car launch.
Many had even made the connection with Red Bull deciding to launch the car in New York of all places. As it turns out, it all pointed to a partnership with the American brand that will return to F1 after an absence of two decades. In a press release, the executive chair Bill Ford said:
“This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford’s motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather won a race that helped launch our company. 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.”
F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali was happy to welcome a brand like Ford to the sport and said:
“The news today that Ford is coming to Formula 1 from 2026 is great for the sport and we are excited to see them join the incredible automotive partners already in Formula 1. They are a global brand with an incredible heritage in the racing and automotive world and they see the huge value that our platform provides with over half a billion fans around the world.”
“Our commitment to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and to introduce sustainable fuels in the F1 cars from 2026 is also an important reason for their decision to enter F1. We believe that our sport provides the opportunity and reach unlike any other and we cannot wait for the Ford logo to be racing round F1’s iconic circuits from 2026.”
Contrary to early speculation that this would only be a sponsorship/badging exercise, Ford will be involved in the hybrid and battery technology for Red Bull's power unit. It remains to be seen what kind of synergy the Red Bull powertrain situated in Milton Keynes will have with the American brand.
FIA president welcomes Ford's association with Red Bull in F1
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem welcomed Ford's association with Red Bull. He praised the celebrated history of the brand and the value it would add to the sport, saying:
“There are few manufacturers who have such a celebrated motorsport history as Ford, so to see them coming back to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is excellent news. It further underlines the success of the 2026 power unit regulations that have at their heart a commitment to both sustainability and spectacle, and of course having more interest from the United States is important of the continued growth of the world’s top motorsport category.”
Ford's return to the sport, however, does bring into question the future Honda might have in F1 beyond 2026.