- Ford is looking at purely marketing and brand presence tie-up
- Red Bull's Porsche deal collapsed due to independence worries
Ford is interested in a return to Formula One via a partnership with the Red Bull Racing team from 2026, according to Autosport.
Red Bull are currently in the midst of a technical partnership with Honda, although this is set to expire at the end of the 2025 season. However, Honda has been expected to break ties with Red Bull in the past before reversing the decision, most notably when it 'pulled out' of Formula One in 2021.
With nothing set in stone for the new engine regulations though, Red Bull appear to be considering their options. It would make sense for the team to be looking primarily at commercial partners after the proposed partnership with Porsche collapsed.
Reports suggest that this came about due to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, team principal Christian Horner and technical director Adrian Newey pushing for greater independence.
Therefore, with Autosport suggesting that Ford is looking for a marketing and brand presence with the Red Bull Powertrains division rather than giving any technical input, this direction makes sense for the Milton Keynes-based team.
This also lines up with the fact that Honda has listed itself as its own separate entry for the 2026 engine regulations, meaning the company can go it alone away from Red Bull if necessary. One rumour along these lines would see Honda becoming a works partner, and possibly even owner, of the Red Bull sister team, AlphaTauri.
For Ford, the US auto giant has not been involved with Formula One since its days with the Jaguar team between 2000 and 2004. Interestingly, this was the team that was eventually sold to the Red Bull drinks company.
Red Bull and Ford are already partnered in the World Rally Championship (WRC), so the lines of communication are already in place for this deal to be explored.