Ford contributing different areas at Red Bull Powertrains

Ford contributing in different areas at Red Bull Powertrains

Ford contributing different areas at Red Bull Powertrains

Ford joined forces with Red Bull Racing to develop the team’s first Formula 1 power unit in 2026, and the American automaker contributing in many areas of the project.

Ford’s initial focus when they joined Red Bull was to support on the hybrid part of the 2026 power unit which will have a power output ratio of 50/50 between Internal Combustion and Electric power.

But Mark Rushbrook, Ford’s Global Motorsports Director, has recently revealed that Ford’s scope of work has been expanded into other areas than electrification.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Rushbrook said: “We have a technical interface from my team directly with the campus in Milton Keynes to contribute in many different areas.

“The internal combustion engine and the turbo weren’t on the initial list, but there is a lot of knowledge that we have with modelling and testing that can help, so that has been engaged and employed as well.

“Our main focus though is in the electrification, that is a big opportunity,” he maintained.

Rivals have an advantage but so do Red Bull and Ford

Horner: With a partner like Ford our path different from Honda

Red Bull Racing have always outsourced their power units or engines since they joined F1 in 2005, but have taken a risk of developing their own power unit in 2026 after Honda decided to leave the sport at the end of 2021 before making a U-Turn and deciding to continue in 2026, but with Aston Martin.

Red Bull started their subsidiary, Red Bull Powertrains and hope to deliver a decent power unit with the help of Ford in 2026, but their is no hiding from the fact that they lack the experiences of their rivals like Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault who have had years of experiences in designing and manufacturing F1 engines/power units.

Rushbrook admits their are challenges to catch up, but also sees positives, he continued: “It’s Formula 1, it’s always going to be challenging.

“It is absolutely true that at Ferrari they have the knowledge, all the people and all that experience in a system that already works. So yes, they might have an advantage with that.

“But I would say that one of the things though where we have an advantage is the team that is working on the power unit for us, for 2026, is only working on the power unit for 2026. They are not working on the power units for today,” he reckoned.

The Ford executive insists they cannot compare themselves to the competition, but is satisfied with the progress done based on the targets set internally by Red Bull Powertrains.

Red Bull Powertrains hitting their set targets

red bull powertrains

He explained: “Early in any programme you set goals and milestones, and we are hitting our own goals and milestones at the moment.

“But the pace in Formula 1 is so much faster than in any other form of motorsport that we are in. It is just full-throttle all the way, from the very beginning of the development until 2030, so until we are done racing this set of regulations,” he added.

Christian Horner and Max Verstappen sounded the alarms that the 2026 power units are not delivering the figures expected with the 50/50 power output split, which Toto Wolff and other rivals dismissed, claiming the Milton Keynes squad are in trouble.

Quizzed about that point, Rushbrook responded: “What I will say is that we set our own goals for the development of this power unit based upon experience and what we felt that is needed to be successful in 2026.

“We have no idea where the competition is or what their progression curve is. So a direct comparison to the competitors we don’t have.

“But for the comparison to what we believe is needed to be successful, we are in a good place,” Rushbrook concluded.