Red Bull ‘expected to sign deal with Ford’ ahead of 2023 car launch
Red Bull are reportedly on the verge of signing a deal with Ford ahead of their 2023 car launch on Friday.
Christian Horner’s team, who coasted to Drivers and Constructors’ success last season as Max Verstappen won his second world title, are in the market for an automotive partner having held talks with Porsche last summer.
Although negotiaions with the German giant broke down, several carmakers are in the market to join Formula 1 in the coming years given the sport’s surge in popularity.
The Ford Motor Company, who were last involved in F1 in 2004 alongside Jaguar, are one such interested party and The Mirror report that a deal is expected to be agreed with Red Bull - and could be announced as early as Friday.
Red Bull launch their 2023 car, the RB19, on 3 February in New York City - where Ford have reportedly sent social media influencers in anticipation of a deal confirmation.
The report adds that it is unclear at this point whether Ford would enter as an engine partner, in the same way as Audi’s already confirmed partnership with Sauber, with the German manufacturer to join when new engine regulations come into play in 2026.
Red Bull have set up their own powertrains department at their base in Milton Keynes and will this year continue working with Japanese manufacturer Honda on their engines.
Mark Rushbrook, Ford’s performance chief, insists any move into the F1 market does “require consideration.”
“Formula 1 is certainly strong and growing, both in the United States and globally,” he told Motorsport.com last week.
“What they have done well is create great racing and great competition. It’s still the pinnacle, but they’ve been able to reach new audiences with things like Drive to Survive.
“As a company we go racing for innovation, tech transfer, the learning opportunity, but also for marketing reasons as well. It’s shifted for sure, and it definitely requires consideration.”
Ford’s eagerness to enter the world of Formula 1 may be a response to rival General Motors forming a partnership with Andretti, under their Cadillac brand.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has opened an “expressions of interest” process for new teams to join the grid, though any fresh outfit are unlikely to join before 2026.
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