On Friday morning Ford announced that the American manufacturer would return to Formula 1 in 2026, in a partnership with Red Bull. Ford last participated in F1 during the 2004 season, and enjoyed a 38-year run in the sport. Over nearly four decades, Ford was part of 10 Constructors’ championships and 13 Drivers’ championships
Ford executive chair Bill Ford said its return to F1 is “the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford’s motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather won a race that helped launch our company. 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 announcement was welcomed by both F1 President Stefano Domenicali, and FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulayem. “The news today that Ford is coming to Formula 1 from 2026 is great for the sport and we are excited to see them join the incredible automotive partners already in Formula 1,” Domenicali said. “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.
According to President Ben Sulayem, Ford’s rich history is a huge part of the puzzle, along with their status as an American manufacturer. “There are few manufacturers who have such a celebrated motorsport history as Ford, so to see them coming back to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is excellent news,” Ben Sulayem said. “It further underlines the success of the 2026 Power Unit Regulations that have at their heart a commitment to both sustainability and spectacle, and of course having more interest from the United States is important for the continued growth of the world’s top motorsport category.“
At a live event in New York City Friday morning, where Red Bull unveiled their RB19 for the upcoming season, Team Principal Christian Horner and Ford President and CEO Jim Farley announced the agreement. Farley joined Horner on stage in front of the RB19 to announce the partnership. “Ford is going to return to Formula 1 after 20 years” Farley said. “We wanted to go in a direction that’s authentic to us ... we’ve decided to have a strategic and technical partnership with Red Bull for 2026 ... it’s a big deal for us.”
For Horner, he called the partnership “tremendously exciting,” and a “big moment” for Red Bull Racing.
The announcement comes as F1 continues to expand in the United States, and considers expanding the field beyond ten teams. Throughout the live event Friday morning, both Horner and Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, and Daniel Ricciardo talked about the growth o the sport in the United States, and the three races schedule this season stateside.
One team looking to enter F1 is the upcoming years is the partnership between Andretti Autosport and General Motors. When that partnership was announced, Michael Andretti stressed the “all-American” nature to the potential Andretti-Cadillac team.
The upcoming partnership between Red Bull and Ford is another part of the continued expansion of F1 into the United States market.