Automotive giant Ford will return to Formula 1 in 2026, the company confirmed on Friday, ahead of an expected tie-up with Red Bull Racing.
The partnership, which is poised to be announced later today, is set to bring Ford back into association with a team that it previously operated in Formula 1.
Ford’s return was announced ahead of the launch of Red Bull’s 2023 season in New York City on Friday.
“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 Bill Ford, executive chair.
“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 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,” said Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
“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 had a major presence in Formula 1 from the late 1960s and the Cosworth DFV V8 engine it funded was the most successful in history. Its last victory came in 2003, when Ford was engine supplier to Jordan.
Ford also had a brief five-year spell as a constructor from 2000 through 2004 after acquiring the Stewart Grand Prix team and running it under the Jaguar Racing marque.
The team was never able to lift itself from Formula 1’s midfield and peaked with a handful of podiums.
Ford withdrew from Formula 1 after 2004 and sold the team to Red Bull.
Red Bull has since gone on to establish itself as a Formula 1 front-runner and last year cruised to both world titles.
The arrangement between Red Bull and Ford is set to begin in 2026, when Formula 1 will introduce new engine regulations, which will feature fully sustainable fuels and an increase of electrical power.
Ford is set to provide its expertise and funding to Red Bull Powertrains, with the power units supplied to Red Bull and AlphaTauri named under the Blue Oval badge.
Red Bull Powertrains’ power unit for the 2026 regulations will be the first designed in-house by the company.
Red Bull has been seeking opportunities to partner with a manufacturer in the wake of Honda’s official exit at the end of 2021 – though the Japanese marque has retained a presence.
Honda has continued to collaborate with the Red Bull Powertrains company which Red Bull set up ahead of the 2022 season, and Red Bull will continue to run those power units through the current regulatory cycle that runs until 2025.
Red Bull was in discussions with Porsche over a collaboration from 2026 for several months but the two parties could not reach an agreement due to control issues, while it is also understood that talks were held with Honda.