Red Bull Racing, the current constructor champion of motor racing’s iconic Formula 1 (F1) series, has announced a new engine partnership deal with US car giant Ford.
The partnership was officially unveiled at Red Bull’s 2023 season launch in New York today (January 3), when the team revealed the livery for this year's car.
Bill Ford, Ford executive chair, said: “This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford’s motorsports story. Ford is returning to the pinnacle of the sport, bringing its long tradition of innovation, sustainability, and electrification to one of the world’s most visible stages.”
The partnership marks a return to F1 for Ford after a 22-year absence (by the time it rejoins) after it pulled out of the series in 2004 following the sale of its Jaguar team to Red Bull.
Ford will join forces with Red Bull Powertrains, which has been set up to build the first in-house Red Bull F1 engine for 2026 when new engine regulations kick in. The rule change will see the current twin-turbo V6 engines running on sustainable fuel and fitted with more powerful hybrid components.
Red Bull Powertrains, which employs around 500 people, is already developing a power unit for the new regulations, while Ford will be providing financial and technical support in return for naming rights.
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The Red Bull team will continue to race with its unbranded Honda power units until the end of the 2025 season.
F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali 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 around F1’s iconic circuits from 2026.”
Ford is one of F1’s most decorated engine manufacturers in history. Its Cosworth DFV engine was the series’ most successful engine design, winning 155 races between 1967 and 1983 until the turbo era.
The automotive giant continued to have success in F1, with 21 grand prix wins, until its exit in 2004.
The news comes after US automotive rivals General Motors (GM) announced a partnership with racing team Andretti Global, with the pair looking to enter F1 in 2026. Under that deal, Andretti plans to carry the logos of GM’s Cadillac brand but will use a Renault engine in its car.
Andretti already has teams competing in IndyCar, Formula E, and Extreme E, and recently started building new headquarters in Indiana, which is set to open in 2025.
Yesterday, the FIA motorsport governing body officially launched an application process for new teams to join F1 from 2025.
The series currently has 10 teams and the existing 12-team cap on the sport means there can only be two successful applicants, who will have the option of joining in 2025, 2026, or 2027.
Meanwhile, Red Bull has also announced a new partnership with e-commerce technology company Rokt that will see the pair work on initiatives aimed at fostering diversity.
Under the partnership, Rokt’s branding will appear on Red Bull Racing’s F1 car, driver suits, and various team collateral, as well as on Red Bull’s esports team.
As part of the deal, the pair will launch a search to recruit female athletes to join the Red Bull Racing Esports team in different capacities, while Rokt will also become the title partner of Red Bull Racing’s event celebrating International Women in Engineering Day