Ford Returns to Formula 1; Strategic Partner to Oracle Red Bull Racing for 2026 Season and Beyond
After more than two decades, Ford is returning to Formula 1. The automaker and Red Bull Powertrains are entering into a long-term strategic technical partnership for the development of a next-gen hybrid power unit to be used from the 2026 Formula 1 season onward. Red Bull Ford will provide the power units for both the Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri teams from 2026 to at least 2030.
Starting from 2023, Ford and Red Bull Powertrains will work to develop the power unit that will be part of the new technical regulations, including a 350 kW electric motor and a new combustion engine able to accept fully sustainable fuels, ready for the 2026 season. Ford will provide technical expertise in all areas where it can add value to the front-running world championship team. Areas to be explored together are in the combustion engine development and key developments like battery cell and electric motor technology, power unit control software and analytics.
Ford is investing $50 billion to lead the EV revolution around the world. Ford is working to meet increased consumer demand and deliver an annual run rate of 600,000 electric vehicles globally by the end of this year and 2 million globally by the end of 2026 as part of its Ford+ plan.
In 2026, Ford will compete in racing disciplines from grassroots motorsports to Formula 1 comprising WEC and IMSA, including Le Mans 24 Hours with Mustang GT3, WRC with the M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1, Baja 1000 with Ranger Raptor and Bronco, and NASCAR, NHRA and Supercars with Mustang.
Ford Performance and Bronco to Defend King of the Hammers Stock Racing Class Crown
Ford Performance and Bronco has returned to the King of the Hammers Ultra4 off-road races in Johnson Valley, California, to defend last year’s 1-2-3 podium sweep in the Every Man Challenge 4600 stock class and go for the win in the 4400 Unlimited class.
Billed as the toughest one-day off-road racing series in America, the 17th annual King of the Hammers, held February 2–11, presents the utmost challenge to showcase state-of-the-art off-road technologies and the Built Wild mental fortitude of drivers across a myriad of diverse terrain. The event also serves as the start to the Ultra4 Off-Road Racing season.
King of the Hammers consists of 90-mile courses across high-speed desert sands and rock crawling across tricky terrain. It is one of the most extreme off-road competitions in the world. Each year, a pop-up city of 80,000 spectators converges on the barren Johnson Valley to watch the race, with millions more viewing online.
The Every Man Challenge features Bronco 4600s, which start their lives as stock production Bronco SUVs at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant before being modified to align to race class specifications. Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Loren Healy, Bailey Cole and Jason Scherer, and defending race winners Brad and Roger Lovell all return as driver/co-driver highlights to the entry list.
Scherer and Healy (both three-time overall Hammers champs) as well as Gittin Jr. (2021 Ultra4 4400 champ) are driving double-duty during the event, also competing in the Race of the Kings in Bronco 4400s, the original unlimited class that helped launch King of the Hammers many years ago.
The 4400 vehicles are all-out custom-built marauders, featuring tubular chassis, powerful engines and massive tires. However, production vehicle innovations also come into play, with the Bronco 4400s utilizing Fox’s live valve shock technology also found on the Bronco Raptor.
Several Ford Performance hero vehicles are on display at the event for fans to see up close, including the ’19 Bronco R race prototype, ’22 Baja 1000-winning Ranger Raptor, three-in-a-row Rebelle Rally-winning Bronco Sport, as well as Bronco DR. Fans can also venture over to the Bronco Nation Basecamp, located right in Hammertown, to visit with fellow Bronco enthusiasts. To learn more about the Bronco two-door, four-door and Bronco Sport models, please visit Ford.com/Bronco.
For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.