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Red Bull Racing

Ford rubbishes claims over new Red Bull F1 power unit

Ford is to enter F1 with Red Bull in 2026, as its top motorsport boss Mark Rushbrook has given an update on the power units.

Verstappen race Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

Ford has refuted claims the Formula 1 power unit it is working on with Red Bull is behind in development, although it admits it has "no idea" where rival suppliers are.

The Blue Oval is re-entering F1 in 2026 as technical partner to Red Bull Powertrains, the in-house power unit division set up by Red Bull, with the new power units set to feature beefed-up electrical systems as well as rely on synthetic fuels. 

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has claimed RBPT is 70 years behind Ferrari when it comes to making an engine, but did say it had signed 220 people from rivals Mercedes High Performance Powertrains in the latest spat with Toto Wolff.

Wolff is trying to use uncertainty about the performance levels of the RBPT power unit to lure Max Verstappen to Mercedes, but Ford global director of motorsport Mark Rushbrook insists all targets are being met.

"As with any program, you set certain goals and milestones," Rushbrook told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com. 

"At the moment we are achieving all our own goals and achieving the desired milestones, I can only say that we have set our own goals for the power unit based on experience and what we think is necessary to be successful in 2026. 

"We have no idea where the competition stands and what their development curve is, we simply do not have a direct comparison with our opponents, but if we look at what we think we need have to be successful, then we are in good shape."

The new power units

As part of the development of the new power units, the increased electrical output is a key area for teams to invest time and research, with Rushbrook explaining how Ford is prioritising this area as RBPT has more focus on the internal combustion engine and turbo. 

"The internal combustion engine and the turbo were not on the initial list of things we would contribute to, but in terms of models and testing, we have knowledge that can help with that," Rushbrook added.

"So that is now also being done, although our main focus is still always on the electrical components. 

"There is direct technical support for all these elements from people from Ford on the campus in Milton Keynes. We do contribute in many areas."

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