Stefano Domenicali has hailed the return to Formula 1 by Ford as great for the sport, thanks to a partnership the American auto-giant has forged with Red Bull, which will see them on track together from 2026.
While Red Bull billed the event in New York as the unveiling Red Bull RB19 Verstappen’s WMD for F1 2023 of their 2023 challenger, the RB19 with which Max Verstappen will defend his crown this season but, instead, we got more a livery reveal, unless Adrian Newey has found performance under the skin.
In other words, that hardly looked like a new car according to those with an expert eye. But that did not matter, we will see that car a lot in the next ten months or so, the real news was their Ford deal.
Sure we were alerted when the Italians allegedly broke an embargo and let out that Ford were coming back. But that was so out of left-field, it was still sinking in when it became fact today, in NYC.
F1 chief Domenicali was chuffed by the news: “The news that Ford is coming to F1 from 2026 is great for the sport and we are excited to see them join the incredible automotive partners already in F1.
“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.”
Ford with Cosworth have an impressive pedigree in F1 but that was long ago
Domenicali continued: “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,” trumpeted Domenicali.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem reckoned that Ford’s decision vindicated F1’s change of engine rules for 2026: “There are few manufacturers who have such a celebrated motorsport 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 motorsport category,” Ben Sulayem added.
Ford are no strangers to F1, records show that Ford-Cosworth-powered cars have won 176 Grands Prix, only bettered by Ferrari (243) and Mercedes (212). They have 10 constructors’ titles on their CV and 13 drivers’ titles.
But beyond the pedigree, the fact that Ford are back signals that F1 is in a very good place, 2026 has all the makings of a ‘golden era’ for the sport at the highest level, as Ford joins another five engine manufacturers that season.