Ford joins forces with Red Bull F1 for 2026

In a surprising turn of events, right after Honda logos made their return on RedBull's 2023 F1 merch, the F1 outfit has been announced to have signed a deal with Ford to produce F1 powertrains for the next set of regulations, coming for the 2026 season.

Porsche initially approached the Austrian energy drink brand for a similar partnership, but the negotiations didn't go through as the German automaker wanted to get 50% of the team in the process. Honda, in the meantime, came back to Red Bull timidly after bailing out at the worst time - just like they did when they sold their affair to Ross Brawn, who then proceeded to win the championship the following year, and it looks like they are now paying the price for their lack of commitment.

Ford left Formula 1 in 2004, with their last title dating back 10 years earlier than that, when a young Michael Schumacher took the championship with Benetton. They will work to build a new gen hybrid power unit alongside RedBull Powertrains, an outfit created to take over what Honda left unattended by shying away from F1. The engines will both both the main Red Bull F1 team and the sister team Alpha Tauri. Honda is still on the list of manufacturers who agreed to supply engine in 2026 though, so it will be interesting to see who get to use the current facilities and employees.
About author
Global motorsports enjoyer, long time simracer, Gran Turismo veteran, I've been driving alongside top drivers since the dawn of online pro leagues on Gran Turismo, and qualified for the only cancelled FIA GTC World Tour. I've left aside competitive driving in 2020 to dedicate myself to IGTL, a simracing organisation hosting high quality events for pro racers and customers, to create with friends the kind of events we wished we could have had. We strive to provide the best events for drivers and the best content for viewers, and want to help the simracing scene grow and shine further in the global esports scene.


Good for the sport, as long as Ford stays committed.
American companies often times tend to take a rather short-term approach to things, if a return (money) is not immediately apparent.
Ford has a history in F1, so that bit I am not to concerned with.
It was very much expected that Redballs won't have the same budget after Mateschitz' death. Fix or repair daily ftw.
If the Red Bull powertrain is a development of the Honda powertrain, is it really going to have a Ford badge in 2026, or are Ford and Red Bull going to design a completely new engine from scratch... knowing that any initial design is gonna be a miss and will require development over the next few years at the very best.
Gone are the days of the Cosworth DFV and 'freedom of expression' for engine designers, and smaller studios like BRM, Cosworth, Coventry Climax, Life, Motori Moderni and a pool of others had a fair crack, so I can only imagine it's the former, and that really should be kinda' embarrassing for Ford.

If Ford wanted to get into F1 they should have designed themselves a unit and got some miles on it, and, only then offered it up to teams.
Plastic badge engineering is very short term and should rightly be scoffed at by the fans as it shows just the salesman thin veneer of commitment.
Great news, Ford are always amazing at ROI. First Cosworth in F1 & IndyCar, nowadays M-Sport and from 2026 Red Bull Racing.

The more interesting part IMHO is that Honda is still signed as engine manufacturer and there aren't many unaffiliated teams left. McLaren is obviously a no go, Aston is Mercedes engines even in road cars... so it's Williams-Honda! I'm very excited about this, I hope Williams gets back in shape for 2026 :)
Ah the many devils of corporate sponsorship...

These "sticker manufacturers" aren't new but are multiplying faster than ever and really do not help F1s brand at all... In a series where each entrant has to develop it's own cars and a lot is made of that fact within the sports DNA, the mere idea of a sticker manufacturer is gross...

Other series with spec or a small number of chassis options, like CART or Formula E do not suffer from the same grossness due to the mere nature of their DNA including spec or near spec chassis...
  • Like
Reactions: Evi
Well it took a gazillion years for Honda to be competitive again, so let's hope it's different for them.

Good to see new competitors bringing their money in !!

Article information

Alexandre Tonini
Article read time
1 min read
Last update

Share this article