Horner happy to partner with Ford: ‘There are still big challenges ahead’

Horner happy to partner with Ford: ‘There are still big challenges ahead’

Christian Horner has indicated that the cooperation with Ford is going well. The Red Bull Racing team boss recognizes that Red Bull Powertrains is working hard behind the scenes and that the most important people within Ford are very involved in the project. That only makes the people of the Austrian racing team satisfied.

After the end of the season in Abu Dhabi, the eyes of Formula 1 are more focused on the test days in Bahrain in 2024. However, behind the scenes I am already secretly looking at the 2026 season, when another major change in the regulations is planned. This time, the engine regulations will be revised and Red Bull will use its own power source for the first time. Red Bull announced at the beginning of the year that it would receive support from automaker Ford.

Until 2025, Red Bull can still use the Honda power source, which has proven to be very reliable in recent years. However, the work continues unabated. “A lot has happened at the back, especially with Red Bull Powertrains,” Horner says Motor Sports Magazine. ‘They reached a milestone that year. And let’s not forget that 2026 is not so far away and that a big challenge lies ahead. Of course that will take a lot of time when I get back to the factory.’

Red Bull is not yet thinking about supplying its own engine

For a while it seemed that Red Bull would enter into a partnership with Porsche. However, at the last minute the Austrian racing team decided to pull the plug on a possible partnership. The German manufacturer wanted too much in the eyes of Red Bull, which led to the suspension of negotiations. The Volkswagen Group wanted to enter Formula 1 with Audi and Porsche, but eventually Audi will be on its own from 2026. The manufacturer takes over the Sauber team.

In Ford, Red Bull found a partner that met the needs of the Formula 1 team. So Horner is pleased with the American car supplier. ‘The partnership with Ford is going well. It’s great to see that dedication and passion.’ Bill Ford, executive chairman, and Jim Farley, Ford CEO, visited the plant in recent weeks to check on the project’s progress. ‘That brand and OEM (Natural Equipment Manufacturered.) if Ford is involved, it’s an extra step for us.’

From 2026, Red Bull will use its own engines, which will have a Ford sticker. Power sources will of course also be given to sister team AlphaTauri, which will compete under a different name. Currently, Red Bull is not yet considering other customer teams. ‘If we are interested in other systems, we are certainly ready to distribute in the future. But as I said: first we want to put everything in order and get our points,” Horner said.