Max Verstappen given hope of F1 dynasty as Red Bull confirm Ford dea

Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step

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Max Verstappen could be set for plenty more success at Red Bull as the team announced a new strategic and technical partnership with Ford. The American car company will part-fund Red Bull Powertrains 2026 engine as part of the deal. Christian Horner labelled the link-up “tremendously exciting” at Red Bull’s launch of their 2023 car on Friday.

It means the reigning champions will enjoy a bumper pay packet and collaboration with engineers to maximise their potential for the new rules package. News of the deal had already been leaked on Thursday after an error.

Ford reportedly sent information of the partnership to news agency Ansa without explaining it was under embargo. Red Bull was already expected to split with Honda from 2025 and were looking at options for the new regulations.

The team held talks with Porsche over the summer but negotiations ended after both sides failed to agree. Part of this was Red Bull’s insistence that the race team was completely independent of outside control.

It comes after a surge in interest from the American market with Cadillac hoping to join the grid under Andretti. Bill Ford, Executive chairman of 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.”

While Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of F1, said: “The news today that Ford is coming to Formula One from 2026 is great for the sport and we are excited to see them join the incredible automotive partners already in Formula One.

“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.”

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Ford can be considered F1’s most successful team with competitive spells for over 50 years. The team funded the Cosworth DFV engine which dominated F1 from 1967 with 155 race wins.

The manufacturer continued to win races until the early noughties with Giancarlo Fisichella’s 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix win its most recent. Both sides have previously worked together with Red Bull linking up with Ford-backed Sauber in 1995.

Red Bull also had a sponsorship deal with Jaguar driver Christian Klien before deciding to purchase the entire Ford-owned team in 2004. FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem added: “There are few manufacturers who have such a celebrated motor sport 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 motor sport category.”

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