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It looks like one of America’s automotive giants is headed back to F1. Multiple outlets are reporting that Red Bull won’t just unveil its new car, the RB-19, but will also announce an engine partnership with Ford.
The BBC reports that this news broke early after Ford inadvertently sent the news to the Italian news agency Ansa.
However, this partnership isn’t exactly out of nowhere. The aforementioned BBC reported last month that the two sides were in talks to team up on an engine project. Red Bull currently builds its own power units under the name Red Bull Powertrains after acquiring intellectual property from its previous supplier, Honda.
They’ll team up in 2026, which is when Formula 1’s new engine regulations debut. Like this current generation, they will be turbo hybrid engines but with a boost in hybrid performance and will run on synthetic fuels.
Ford And Red Bull Go Way Back
This will mark Ford’s first foray into Formula 1 since bailing on the sport after the 2004 season, and it’s fitting their return is with Red Bull.
To quote, Rustin Cohle, “Time is a flat circle.”
Ford used to be an engine supplier. Their Cosworth DFV V8 which debuted in 1967 is still the most successful engine in F1 history. In the 1990s, one of their customers was Stewart Grand Prix, owned and operated by F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart. In 1999, Ford bought the team and renamed it after Jaguar, the British luxury car brand that they owned at the time.
Jaguar Racing competed in Formula 1 between 2000 and 2004 and is probably best remembered for underperforming. Ahead of the 2005 season, Ford sold the team to an energy drink company by the name of Red Bull. They went on to win 5 Constructors’ Championships and 6 Drivers’ Championships.
So, it’s something of a homecoming.
We should get some more details when the RB-19 is unveiled on Friday, but it’s exciting to see a major US auto company diving back into F1 in some capacity.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle