Ford announces Formula One return

February 4, 2023

American automotive company Ford has announced its return to Formula One. Ford has stated that it will be returning to the sport in 2026, when the new engine regulations are introduced.

It is reported that Ford will partner with Red Bull for its return to the grid, teaming up with the Austrian team’s engine company, Red Bull Powertrains, although an official announcement is awaited.

Following Honda walking away from the sport, Red Bull had decided to set up its own power unit facility. The Red Bull and AlphaTauri F1 teams will continue using Honda engines till the end of the 2025 season. The 2026 season will see the introduction of new power unit regulations, with teams using increased electrical power and sustainable synthetic fuels in the internal combustion engine. Reports suggest Ford will concentrate on battery and hybrid technology in its partnership with Red Bull. 

Ford’s return in 2026 will mark the company’s return to the sport since 2004, when it was last in the sport with the Jaguar F1 team, which it sold to Red Bull in 2004. Ford made its Formula One debut in the 1960s, winning the first title with Lotus and Graham Hill in 1968. The company’s most recent title win came via Michael Schumacher’s triumph with Benetton in 1994. Ford has been a part of 10 Constructors’ and 13 Drivers’ Championships over the years. 

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula One, said:

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. Ford is a global brand with an incredible heritage in racing and the automotive world and they see the huge value that our platform provides with over half a billion fans around the world.

Our commitment to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and to introduce sustainable fuels in the F1 cars from 2026 is also an important reason for their decision to enter F1. We believe that our sport provides the opportunity and reach unlike any other and we cannot wait for the Ford logo to be racing round F1’s iconic circuits from 2026.

Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company, said:

This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford’s motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather [Henry Ford] won a race that helped launch our company. 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.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President, FIA, stated:

There are few manufacturers who have such a celebrated motor sport history as Ford, so to see them coming back to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is excellent news. It further underlines the success of the 2026 Power Unit Regulations that have at their heart a commitment to both sustainability and spectacle, and of course having more interest from the United States is important for the continued growth of the world’s top motor sport category.

Ford is the third most successful engine manufacturer in the history of Formula One with a total of 176 victories. Ford won’t be the only new name on the grid in 2026, however, as Audi has also announced its plans to enter the grid. 

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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