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Ford reveals how Red Bull collaboration will work

With Ford aiming to make a successful return to Formula 1 from 2026, Ford outline the details of their collaboration with reigning champions Red Bull.

Ford have provided insight into their collaboration with Red Bull for the 2026 power unit regulations, and how the partnership will work. The announcement of Ford's return to F1 was swiftly followed up by confirmation that they will form a technical partnership with Red Bull for the upcoming power unit regulation changes in 2026. Red Bull Ford Powertrains will power both Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri from the 2026 season and, speaking after the announcement, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports Mark Rushbrook followed up by outlining the details of their collaboration. With Honda previously threatening to step back from Formula 1 altogether, Red Bull opted to create a powertrain division, and began work on setting up their own facilities, something which Rushbrook said will be used by Ford. "There's a great foundation in Milton Keynes with a Red Bull campus, and there were already plans underway to have a building for powertrains there, with the dynos, and to house the team, and to build the power units," Rushbrook told media, including RacingNews365.com . "That is still the plan to have that as the cornerstone of the power unit programme, and it's important to be embedded there with the racing team and the racing cars so that you can optimise the total package as it goes onto the track."

Ford: Everything is 'on the table' in Red Bull partnership

With Formula 1 steering towards increased dependence on recovery systems for the next generation of power units - which Ford admitted was part of the appeal to rejoin F1 - there will be an increased importance on the battery and motor systems involved with power units. Rushbrook reiterated the Blue Oval's aims of driving the 'electrification' of Red Bull's power units but, as part of a 'two-way' deal, also hoped that the American manufacturers could profit from Red Bull's aerodynamic expertise. "Everything is on the table in terms of resources from Ford Motor Company to contribute to this, where it's going to add value and benefit," added Rushbrook. "The initial areas that have been identified where we're working are certainly in the battery cell technology, in the electric motor itself, the controls software, both in the fundamental software as well as the calibration of that to optimise the performance analytics within the power unit itself, but also across the total car. "We're also hoping to learn more about aerodynamics to bring that back to our road cars, [including] some of the processes and tools that they have."

Ford aiming to place employees at Red Bull

When describing the extent of the partnership, the Ford Performance Motorsports boss confirmed that there will be a transfer of employees to Milton Keynes to help create a seamless collaboration. "As far as people involved, there certainly will be Ford Performance employees that are part of the [Red Bull] team," continued Rushbrook. "We already have a global team with people in the United States and people in the UK and Europe, that work on our global motorsports programmes, and that team is growing and will be part of this programme as well. "We certainly expect that we will have employees located full-time in Milton Keynes, but not yet at this point. "We're still working through exactly who and when and how, but there are definitely some strong areas there where we're committed to work together."

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