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Ford returns to Formula 1

FORD will make a grand return to Formula 1 in 2026, powering championship-winning outfit Red Bull.

The iconic brand will join forces with Red Bull Powertrains with a view to the next wave of engine regulations.

The announcement comes almost two decades on from Ford’s last involvement in F1 (in 2004) and will see it supply both Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri from 2026 until at least 2030.

“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,” said executive chair Bill Ford.

“Ford, alongside world champions, Oracle Red Bull Racing, 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.”

Added Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company president and CEO: “Ford’s return to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing is all about where we are going as a company– increasingly electric, software-defined, modern vehicles and experiences.

Pic: Supplied

“F1 will be an incredibly cost-effective platform to innovate, share ideas and technologies, and engage with tens of millions of new customers.”

Red Bull was born out of the ashes of the Ford-affiliated Jaguar F1 team in 2005, making this something of a full circle.

Via Max Verstappen, Red Bull has won the past two drivers’ championships.

“It’s fantastic to be welcoming Ford back into Formula 1 through this partnership,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

“As an independent engine manufacturer to have the ability to benefit from an OEM’s experience like Ford puts us in good stead against the competition.

“They are a manufacturer rich in motoring history that spans generations. From Jim Clark to Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, the lineage speaks for itself.

“For us as Red Bull Powertrains to open the next chapter of that dynasty, as Red Bull Ford, is tremendously exciting. 2026 is still a while a way but for us the work already starts as we look to a new future and a continued evolution of Oracle Red Bull Racing.”

Pic: Supplied

The F1 move comes less than six months after Ford released its latest Mustang for all sorts of motorsport competition around the globe.

“We are entering an exciting new age for Ford Performance,” added Farley.

“We will be competing to win in F1, the pinnacle for motor sport, with Red Bull Racing.

“You will see the world’s most popular sports coupe, the Mustang, race from the grassroots to Australian Supercars to NASCAR to Le Mans.

“And will build our off-road leadership in the World Rally Championship, King of Hammers and to the Baja 1000 and more.

“All the while, we’ll continue to excite the world with cool demonstrators like SuperVan 4 and Mustang Mach-E 1400.”

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