Ford will spend ‘in a responsible way’ when they return to F1 in 2026

Ford have said they will not mark their return to F1 by spending unlimited funds following news of the manufacturer’s tie-in with Red Bull.

Alongside the launch of their 2023 car, Red Bull Racing announced an exciting future partnership. When engine regulations change in 2026, Ford will work with Red Bull powertrains to develop their new power units.

This surprise re-entry to F1 means that the American brand will be a presence on the grid for the first time in over 20 years.

However, even though they are one of the world’s biggest car companies, Ford are taking a careful approach.

Speaking to various media personnel, Ford Motorsport’s Global Director – Mark Rushbrook – stated that the company will not throw endless money at their F1 project.

“We do go racing in a responsible way, I believe, in all the different series that we go,” said Rushbrook, via “We don’t have an unlimited budget, as much as racing can sometimes want you to go that way.

“With the right partners, we go in strategically to win races – but also with a responsible budget.”

Aside from potential on-track success, Ford envisage a lucrative element to their tie-in with Red Bull.

“I think this is very special in terms of what the opportunity is,” added Rushbrook. “ And what the real benefit is to the marketing team from our company. We’ll be able to leverage motorsports in a way that we haven’t for a long time.”

So, Ford are coming back to F1 as an engine supplier in a few years’ time. But what new rules are causing manufacturers to flock to the sport in 2026?

The 2026 engine regs as Ford re-enter F1 sphere

Alongside Ford, German car giant Audi will also be on the grid in three years’ time. They join Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda, and Renault (Alpine) by committing to 2026.

This future season is an exciting one due to a number of technological advancements and regulation tweaks.

Firstly, 2026 power units will only run on environmentally sustainable fuels. As a result, the sport’s fossil fuel output will be significantly reduced.

Then, in response to the change of fuel, new regulations will allow for a three-fold increase in electrical power. The development of electric PUs is a tempting aspect for manufacturers, with 2026 engines being up to 50% electrically powered.

Further changes mean that cars will use less fuel, but power output remains the same.

However, one unchanged aspect is that the existing, 1.6-litre V6 engines will remain. There is one crucial adjustment, though: the MGU-H, a turbocharger part that harvests heat energy into electrical power, will be removed.

This is one way in which F1 expects to keep costs down – another alluring feature to teams. Although they will still have a cost cap of $130 million at their disposal.

Overall, exciting times lie ahead for fans of the pinnacle of motorsport. With so many manufacturers on the grid, we could be in for some thrilling competition at the tail end of the 2020s.

Featured image credit: Getty