Ford Impressed with Early Red Bull Partnership

Jim Farley, President and CEO of Ford, has shared a positive update on the growing collaboration with the Red Bull F1 team, expressing his satisfaction with the current progress.

Less than twelve months ago, the collaboration between Ford and Red Bull Power trains was revealed, with the goal of jointly developing a next-generation power unit. This unit is intended to power both Red Bull Racing and their sister team, now known as RB, from 2026 and is expected to continue until at least 2030.

Following multiple site visits and interactions between Ford and Red Bull staff, Farley conveyed initial optimism regarding the ongoing process and the positive development of the plans.

“I had a chance to spend a lot of time with the team in Milton Keynes and with [Red Bull Chief Technical Officer] Adrian Newey,” He mentioned this during the unveiling of Ford’s 2024 season.

“I think we’re on track. 2026, even though it sounds like a long way away, we have a lot of work to do on the power train, but I’m really happy with the progress. I wish I could tell you more, but I would say we’re on track!”

Regarding Ford’s return to Formula 1, which has a rich history dating back to the 1960s, Farley clarified that the move is motivated by the industry’s shift towards electrical power. He emphasized the compelling opportunity for technology transfer between the two entities, making the decision a logical one.

“We’re going back to F1 in a way that we haven’t in the past,” he stated “It turns out that the best aerodynamics in the world are in F1, the best telemetry, the best digital diagnostics, and we need all those things for electric and digital cars.

“It’s actually going back to the ‘70s with a pure tech transfer. This is not like owning our team, we’re going there to literally transfer technology.

“We can offer battery tech for them, because in ’26 they’re going to go to like 50% electric and they need a discharge battery, and we do that in NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) for example.

“On the other hand, we can get telemetry, digital diagnosis, as well as aero, which we can put in our production electric cars to make the batteries smaller.

“It’s a lot of R&D and they are the best in the world in a lot of these technologies. We need them desperately as the car business changes. It’s literally like going back to where we were all those years ago [with] tech transfer.”

Speaking about his aspirations and anticipations for the partnership as the 2026 rules reset draws near, the American continued: “We’ve got the best frickin’ team, it’s that simple.

“We’ve got the best drivers, we’ve got the best technical support, we’ve got the best of Ford around the globe to support them, but the powertrain team that they’re building in Milton Keynes is absolutely top-notch.”

Additionally, participating in Ford’s season launch via video link was Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who contributed: “The last 12 months have been incredibly exciting because we’ve been introducing the various departments within Red Bull Powertrains and within Ford.

“The exchange of ideas and technology has been fantastic on what is a brand-new set of regulations for 2026. From the executive level, right through to our engineers, everyone at Ford is committed to helping this team succeed.”