Ford addresses fears over Red Bull partnership

Both Ford and General Motors will become involved in Formula 1 from the 2026 season.

The major shakeup in engine regulations that is coming in 2026 presents an opportunity for the teams to rethink their power unit partnerships.

Audi will complete their takeover of Sauber that year and car giants Ford will return to the sport after nearly two decades away.

Ford will partner with Red Bull Powertrains to become Red Bull Ford, helping to power the team and optimise the capabilities of their power unit.

Ford are heavily involved in NASCAR and some American fans have expressed their concerns about their return to F1, suggesting that they could now neglect their other teams.

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Global director of Ford Performance Motorsports Mark Rushbrook has insisted that this is not the case, claiming that the F1 project is an addition to their plans rather than a replacement.

“The way that we’re approaching it is Formula One, for us, is an overlay to our existing programs,” he said.

“It is not substitutional or displacing any of our current plans.”

Another US car giant could also be joining the grid in 2026 in General Motors, who are hoping to enter F1 with Andretti-Cadillac, using Cadillac as the flagship brand for the F1 venture.

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Jim Campbell, the vice president of performance and motorsports for Chevrolet has suggested that General Motors’ involvement in F1 could actually benefit their NASCAR teams.

“I would say for us, we are early in the process,” he said. “Just this past week we submitted our expression of interest to the FIA, so there are a number of steps before we would be considered to be in the series. 

“So we still have a ways to go on our side, but this would be really complimentary and we use performance and racing as a place to really learn on the track and develop employees.

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“Obviously, you get the benefits on the business side as well because when you win races you lift the opinion of the brand.

“So I would say we are early in the process, but this would be complimentary. We believe in the platform as a way to bring value to the company but also to promote our brands and drivers.”

Andretti-Cadillac’s entry into F1 is far from confirmed, with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali still strongly against expanding the grid, despite the FIA’s will to involve the US giants.