Ford is returning to Formula One after a nearly 20-year absence. The automaker is collaborating with Red Bull to create a next-generation hybrid power unit for Red Bull Racing and its sister team AlphaTauri.
The Ford-powered engines will be used by the teams between 2026 and at least 2030. Ford will provide “expertise in areas such as battery cell and electric motor technology, as well as power unit control software and analytics,” according to a statement.
Ford has been involved in Formula One since the 1960s. Before leaving the sport in 2004, it was involved in 13 driver’s championships and ten constructor’s championships as an engine manufacturer.
However, upcoming rule changes requiring increased engine electrification and completely sustainable fuels prompted Ford to make a comeback.
“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,” Ford president and CEO Jim Farley said.
“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 began developing its own F1 engine for the first time as Honda, its current partner, exited the sport to focus more on fuel cell and EV technology.
Although Honda officially exited F1 at the end of 2021, it will continue to support Red Bull until new engine regulations take effect in 2026, according to The Race.
It was expected that Red Bull would require assistance in developing a hybrid system.
Audi revealed last year that it will develop a hybrid F1 engine. The automaker announced this week that it has purchased a minority stake in Sauber, which will become its works team.