Perhaps America’s premier automotive company is returning to the world’s top open-wheeled racing series.
Ford motor company, which last competed in Formula 1 in 2004 as an engine supplier for the Jaguar team, is returning to the sport in 2026.
The auto industry giant will manufacture engines for Red Bull Racing, one of the sport’s premier teams and the team of two-time reigning series champion Max Verstappen.
Red Bull currently works in partnership with Honda to produce its own engines. But the Ford deal has long been rumored. Both Ford and Red Bull revealed the partnership on Friday morning. It came at the same time as Red Bull’s reveal of the its 2023 car.
“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 Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement.
“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,” he continued.
Ford Adds To Growing Popularity Of Formula 1 In The United States
American involvement in the world of Formula 1 had been limited in recent decade. But that’s no longer the case. American Logan Sargeant will drive for the legendary Williams team in 2023. The US plays host to three races on the 2023 F1 calendar. Ford is entering the sport in 2026. And they may not be alone.
The Ford news comes just weeks after GM threw its hat into the ring. The fellow American giant is set to back Michael Andretti’s bid to join the F1 grid. Andretti is seeking to join the series with the backing of GM brand Cadillac.
Formula 1 had long been owned by Englishman Bernie Ecclestone. But in 2016, Ecclestone sold the racing series to American company Liberty Media Group. The sport has since skyrocketed in popularity, particularly in the United States.
With Ford and potentially Cadillac on board, that popularity may well only continue to grow.