Red Bull team boss Christian Horner emphasizes that the collaboration with Ford is completely different from the deal negotiated with Porsche.
Last Friday, during the presentation of the new RB19, it was proudly announced that Red Bull and Ford will work together from 2026 and Christian Horner described the cooperation as purely commercial and technical.
Last summer, the rumor arose that Red Bull and Porsche would have joined forces, whereby the German car manufacturer would acquire a significant part of Red Bull Technology. But as we already know, that came to naught and last week it was announced that the Austrian team will enter into a partnership with Ford from 2026.
But the collaboration with Ford will look completely different, Christian Horner said on Friday.
“It is a very different relationship than what was discussed with Porsche. This is purely a commercial and technical deal, so there is no exchange of shares or participation in the company.
“It’s a very simple agreement where we have the ability to share and access R&D, particularly on the EV side, and sell technology software development and things like that.
“Then the commercial side, with Ford so dominant in the US. As a commercial partner, it helps us to achieve even more market penetration.”
Commercial interests are of course also important to Ford, but the American car manufacturer will lend more than just its name to the project. Technical input is also counted on, especially in the field of the electrical side of the story.
“Everything is on the table in the sense that Ford Motor Company is committing resources to contribute where it adds value and benefit,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports.
“The first areas that have been mentioned and that we are working on are certainly the battery cell technology, the electric motor itself, the control and the software. I certainly expect we will have full-time employees in Milton Keynes but not yet.”
“We’re not going to race just as a marketing exercise anywhere, and certainly not in F1.”
But Ford is of course not blind to the growth that the sport has recorded in recent years, not least in the United States.
“Growth in the US certainly helps,” admits Rushbrook. “As we said, it was the combination of the technology and the two-way capability.”
“It was the opportunity for marketing, and the connection with diverse fans worldwide, but yes, the specific growth in the US certainly contributed to that, but it wasn’t the only reason.”
“And it’s great to see more races in the United States, and three very different races in three different parts of the country. I was at COTA last year and it was fantastic.”
“I hadn’t been there for races before. It was a fantastic atmosphere and feeling, and the number of fans there, and the passion of those fans, it’s important for us to be a part of that.”