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F1 2023

Ford had other partnership opportunities before Red Bull deal

Global Director of Ford, Mark Rushbrook, admitted that Ford had opportunities to partner with other manufacturers on the Formula 1 grid, but the Red Bull deal made the most sense.

Verstappen Bill Ford
To news overview © FIA / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Ford had other opportunities to partner with power unit suppliers on the Formula 1 grid before electing to partner with Red Bull Powertrains.

Shortly after the partnership announcement the FIA confirmed the six power unit suppliers for 2026, with Honda included on the list.

But according to Global Director of Ford, Mark Rushbrook, the company assessed that it would be best to go with Red Bull as they are not a direct competitor in the car market.

"It definitely is right to partner with somebody like Red Bull Powertrains, because they're not our rival auto manufacturer," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"It would not have felt right, or appropriate, to partner with another auto manufacturer together on the power unit.

"There certainly were some opportunities to do that, but that wasn't the right way for us."

Ford partners strategically with right teams to win races

While the company will now be competing in three premier FIA World Championships from 2026, alongside their commitments to NASCAR, IMSA, Dakar and the Baja 1000.

But while Rushbrook said the brand does not have a "bottomless" pit for spending money, he explained that the company strategically partners with the right teams to win races.

He added: "It's definitely not bottomless, I can attest to that. We do go racing but in a responsible way I believe in all the different series that we race in."

"We don't have unlimited budget, as much as racing sometimes wants you to go that way. But we go in strategically with the right partners to win races, but also with a responsible budget.

"I think this case is very special in terms of what the opportunity is and what the real benefit is to the marketing team from our company, to be able to leverage motorsports in a way that we haven't for a long time."


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