Ford rules out Formula 1 entry until costs are reduced

Ford's Motorsport boss, Mark Rushbrook, has ruled out another foray into Formula 1 for the forseeable future for the American car giant, with costs of competing being far too high to consider an entry.

Ford last competed in Formula 1 in 2004 as an engine manufacturer with Jaguar Racing before leaving the sport for the 2005 season and selling their Cosworth branch. 

Despite the high cost of competing in the premier single seater series, Rushbrook explained to Autocar that F1 is more attractive than other alternatives such as Formula E, due to its use of hybrid power units.

“Hybrid power will be relevant for a long time for Ford, especially if it introduces budgets,” he told Autocar, later explaining that controlled spending in the series would be needed for Ford to consider an entry as, at present, “cost reduction in F1 is all relative. If you cap in one area, [manufacturers] will spend in another”.

In racing, Ford's primary focus is on the World Endurance Championship and the WRC in which Ford will increase its involvement with M-Sport who won both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships last season.

“Specifically for WRC, there’s now more financial commitment but also more technical support from us. For 2018, we can help with more technical analysis of the car’s engine and look at its flow and combustion to improve performance,” Rushbrook added.

“A lot of the hardware we use in the WRC we can also use on road cars, so by testing them in this hard competition environment [in which it faces stiff opposition from Citroen, Hyundai and Toyota], it stresses them to far greater levels than on a road car. It’s very useful data.”

F1 is planning to dramatically reduce costs from 2021 onwards, with a simplified hybrid engine, whilst a budget cap is also under consideration.