Ford has confirmed that it will return to the F1 grid for the 2026 season as an engine supplier, in an expected partnership with Red Bull.
The American giant today announced its intention to return to the sport after 21-year absence but has yet to specify what that will look like, after they were last seen in F1 with their brand Jaguar in 2004.
All the signs point to an engine partnership with Red Bull though, who will be looking for a supplier after the engine freeze lifts and new regulations – including 100% sustainable fuels – come in for 2026.
“This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford’s motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather [Henry Ford] won a race that helped launch our company,” Bill Ford, Ford‘s Executive Chairman, said.
“Ford is returning to the pinnacle of the sport, bringing Ford’s long tradition of innovation, sustainability and electrification to one of the world’s most visible stages.”
The company will likely represent a third American involvement on the grid, with North Carolina-based Haas already present and an Andretti-Cadillac partnership aiming to become one of two new F1 teams for 2026.
Ford succeed where Porsche failed.
The partnership will likely mean Red Bull retains much of its control over the team, after a Red Bull-Porsche deal broke down over that issue. The two companies reportedly had a handshake deal done over the return with Porsche intending to buy a 50% stake in the team, but Red Bull then got cold feet and backed out.
“The news today that Ford is coming to Formula 1 from 2026 is great for the sport,” F1 President Stefano Domenicali said: “and we are excited to see them join the incredible automotive partners already in Formula 1.”
“Ford is a global brand with an incredible heritage in racing and the automotive world and they see the huge value that our platform provides with over half a billion fans around the world.
“Our commitment to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and to introduce sustainable fuels in the F1 cars from 2026 is also an important reason for their decision to enter F1.
“We believe that our sport provides the opportunity and reach unlike any other and we cannot wait for the Ford logo to be racing round F1’s iconic circuits from 2026.”