Ford Returns to F1 in 2026 as Red Bull Engine Partner: Report
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American auto giant Ford has formed a partnership Red Bull to help fund engine development for the team starting in 2026, the BBC reports.
The BBC says it got the information from Ansa, an Italian news agency, that published an official announcement in error before being withdrawn. Formula 1 later confirmed Ford's entry into the sport, but did not reveal which team it would be associated with, and what sort of support they'd provide. This will be the first time Ford is set to play an official role in F1 since 2004, when it sold Jaguar to Red Bull.
Red Bull is expected to make an official announcement on the partnership on Friday in New York, when it also plans to reveal the livery for its 2023 Formula 1 entry, the RB19, the BBC reports. From 2026 onward, both Red Bull and Alpha Tauri cars will run Ford-branded engines in a deal that trades funding and technical input for naming rights, says The Race.
Red Bull Formula 1 cars are currently powered by Honda and will be until the year 2025, right before the regulations change. Honda previously withdrew from the deal in 2021, but came back in 2022 for a partnership that was only supposed to last until 2023. The Japanese manufacturer extended the deal until the end of 2025 when, going by the BBC's report, is when Ford will step in to co-fund the development of a new engine alongside Red Bull.
Ford's entry comes just one month after Andretti Global and Cadillac formally announced their plans to enter Formula 1 with a new team. It's still unclear whether an Andretti entry will actually happen, but if it does, we could see two of the greatest American automakers face off on the world's biggest motorsport stage in just a few years' time.
Update, Feb. 3, 2023, 9:30 a.m. EST: This article, originally published on Feb. 2 at 4:02 p.m., has been updated with confirmation from F1.
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