It appears that a number of manufacturers are seeing Red Bull as a viable partner for the new engine regulations in 2026, with Porsche having already failed at trying to reach a deal with the Austrians.
American manufacturer Ford are the latest to be linked with a shock return to the sport, with the energy drink-owned team, having left Formula 1 in 2004 after selling the Jaguar F1 Team to Red Bull.
Ford have never achieved any sort of success in the series and have largely remained quiet on a return to the pinnacle of motorsport; however, the rapid growth of F1 in the United States appears to have caught the company’s attention.
According to reports, Ford have no interest in developing power units or their own side, hence why a deal with Red Bull would work perfectly.
The Austrians have committed to developing their own power unit from 2026, a move which will see the side run fully in-house, with little contribution from elsewhere.
A partnership between the two would perhaps be more to do with technical assistance and marketing, something that would work very much in Red Bull’s and Ford’s favour to further grow their brands.
Team principal Christian Horner has previously explained that Red Bull are open to a “like-minded partner, something that Ford might well be.
“We are fully focused on a Red Bull power unit, and if there was a like-minded partner that could contribute something to the project, then of course you would have to absolutely consider that. But it’s not a prerequisite.
“We will be the only team other than Ferrari to have engine and chassis all on one campus under one roof.
“We believe that for the long-term competitiveness of the team, it is absolutely the right thing to be doing. And of course, there are other opportunities it presents as well.”
Ford and Red Bull do have experience of working together in the World Rally Championship, meaning it wouldn’t be a completely new partnership to adjust to.
As well as this, Ford reportedly have no desire of taking ownership of how the side would be run and would be more than happy for Red Bull to be in control of the power unit and technical developments.
This is a very different approach to Porsche, who wanted a 50-percent stake in the team and virtually full control over the power unit, something that saw the deal collapse as a result of Red Bull wanting to maintain their independence.