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Red Bull-Ford

How Ford is planning to go Back to the Future with its Red Bull F1 assault

Ford CEO Jim Farley has laid out what the Blue Oval intends to achieve with its partnership with Red Bull which is due to start in 2026.

Verstappen Las Vegas
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Ford's last venture into Formula 1 ended in what the Blue Oval would consider a massive failure with the Jagaur project flopping in the early 2000s.

Despite big names like Bobby Rahal and Niki Lauda in management roles, only a handful of podiums were forthcoming between 2000 and 2004 - when an Austrian fizzy energy drink entrepreneur offered £1 to take the team off its hands.

Since 2005, Ford has largely focused on sportscar racing with the GT or in NASCAR, where it has taken three of the last six Cup titles with Team Penske drivers Joey Logano (twice) and Ryan Blaney - who is the defending champion in 2024.

In January last year, Ford announced it was coming to F1 with the very team it sold up to as engine technical partner to Red Bull Racing and the newly formed Red Bull Powertrains division.

Ford is not entering as partner until 2026, where the new power unit regulations will eliminate the MGU-H, have an electrical power output increase from 120kw to 350kw and mandate the use of fully sustainable fuel.

Audi has also been enticed by the regulations and will assume control of the Stake F1 squad while Ford's old rival General Motors could also enter if Andretti can agree commercial terms with F1 after the FIA accepted its entry last year.

Not only is Ford planning on coming back to F1 with the team it sold itself to, but is also intending to use lessons from the 1970s...

How Ford is planning its attack

"I had a chance to spend a lot of time with the team in Milton Keynes and with Adrian Newey and I think we're on track," Ford CEO Jim Farley (below in Miami) explained at its 2024 season launch, featuring the likes of new NASCAR Cup champion Blaney.

"2026, even though it sounds like a long way away, we have a lot of work to do on the power train, but I'm really happy with the progress. I wish I could tell you more, but we're on track.

"We going back to Formula 1 in a way that we haven't in the past. It turns out that the best aerodynamics in the world are in F1, the best telemetry, digital diagnostics and we need all those things for electric and digital cars.

"It's actually going back to the 1970s, its a pure tech transfer. This is not like owning our team, we're going there to literally transfer technology.

"We can offer battery technology because in 2026, they're going to go to like 50% electric and they need high discharge batteries - and we do that in NHRA.

"On the other hand, we can get telemetry, digital diagnosis as well as aerodynamics which we can put on our production and electric cars.

"They are the best in the world with a lot of these technologies, and we've got the best freaking team.

"It is that simple. We've got the best drivers, the best technical teams and have the best of Ford around the globe to support them.

"The powertrain tea that they're building in Milton Keynes is top-notch and we're going first class to the very top of the podium."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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