American automotive goliath Ford Motor Company announced its intention to make a comeback in Formula 1 in 2026. The move aligns with the new engine regulations set to be enforced at the time and will mark a second inning for the automaker in the premier class sport. Ford will be returning as an engine supplier to Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
Ford’s participation in F1 goes all the way back to the 1960s when the Double Four Valve (DFV) engine was in play. The engine was built in partnership with the UK-based engineering company Cosworth. The duo went on to claim 155 wins out of 262 races between 1967 and 1985. Ford and Cosworth-built engines powered Graham Hill and Lotus in 1968, as well as Michael Schumacher and Benetton as recently as 1994. The company would go on to be a part of 10 constructors’ championships and 13 drivers’ championships, which statistically makes them the third most successful engine manufacturer in F1’s history.
Also Read : Is Ford entering F1? Expanding fan base in home country fuelling ambitions
Ford last raced in F1 in 2004 with Cosworth-branded engines supplied to Jaguar. This team would go on to become Red Bull in 2005. The automaker now comes a full circle as it teams up once again with the same team on the grid.
Ford now makes a comeback to the sport after a hiatus of 20 years. The new engine regulations not only promise a level playing field but also more room for improvement and innovation. The new engine rules require more electrical power up to 350 kW (469 bhp) and the use of 100 per cent sustainable fuels, which is a big shift for the sport as it aims to achieve higher sustainability.
Speaking on Ford’s announcement, Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO – F1, said, “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. 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 around F1’s iconic circuits from 2026.”
Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company, said, “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. 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.”
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem added, “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. 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.”
Apart from Ford, Audi too will be joining F1 in 2026 with the German auto giant acquiring a minority stake in the Sauber F1 team. Honda, which was Red Bull’s previous engine supplier, has shown interest in becoming an engine supplier in 2026.
First Published Date: 04 Feb 2023, 10:39 AM IST