Ford confirm no cuts to motorsport programmes due to F1 return

Global director of Ford performance Mark Rushbrook has stated that no motorsport programme will be cut to make through for the company's return to Formula 1

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Ford‘s Global Director Mark Rushbrook has reaffirmed the company will not change its motorsport plans despite the announcement of their to Formula 1.

On Friday, Ford confirmed their return to F1 for the first time since 2004 after announcing a partnership with Red Bull which will begin in 2026.

Ford currently have programmes in the World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Supercars and numerous touring car championships, but they will not be affected by their presence in F1.

“I will say there’s no impact to our motorsports plan based on this; this was an independent decision, we’re committed to motorsports globally, [there is] no intent to change the current programs we have,” Rushbrook told Total-Motorsport.com and other media outlets.

“We changed our strategy in terms of focus on Mustang and all different levels of racing around the world in off-road racing with Bronco, Ranger, and we include the Puma as rally one.

“Now F1, which gives us maybe the most global reach out of all of those and even more electrification. We’ll have those four pillars as part of our motorsport cycle plan.”

Eight-year contract with both Red Bull teams 

Ford will also supply engines to AlphaTauri in 2026meaning that both Red Bull teams will use the same engines until 2030.

The American will provide expertise in the development of the battery cell and electric technology ahead of the new regulations in 2026 which will see a revamp in the power unit rules.

Rushbrook explained that the two companies would be full technical partners for developing the power unit, including the takeover of Red Bull Powertrains.

“It is an eight-year agreement that we’ll co-develop together as Red Bull-Ford powertrains, the new power unit across these next three years,” explained Rushbrook.

“We’ll obviously keep developing it as we race in 2026 through 2030 with the Red Bull-Ford [engines] powering Red Bull and AlphaTauri. In terms of the technical collaboration, we’re full partners on that.

“Whatever we can do with Red Bull Resources and Ford Motor Company for performance resources to get the maximum performance out of the new hybrid power unit.”

(L-R) Max Verstappen Sergio Perez, Jim Farley, Christian Horner and Daniel Ricciardo on stage during Red Bull’s 2023 F1 launch in Manhattan (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Oracle Red Bull Racing)

No-brainer for Ford

As part of F1’s plans to reduce costs and emissions, sustainable fuels were introduced to entice engine manufacturers who had previously been discouraged from entering the sport due to its high costs.

Rushbrook says the change to F1‘s regulations also enticed Ford to seek an interest in the sport and its growing fanbase.

“It started 2+ plus years ago as we started to see and understand what the future of the sport was with the technological changes,” said Rushbrook.”

“The commitment to sustainable fuels, the net carbon zero and the change to the technical regulations to make electrification an even bigger component of the hybrid power unit.

“That became interesting to us where we knew we could contribute something technically to a program but also continue to learn in those areas.

“In parallel to that, we saw what was happening to the sport itself with the popularity, the growing global fan base and diversity of the fan base would then give us a platform to tell our story.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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