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‘Absolutely top notch’ – Ford share early impressions of Red Bull as partnership ramps up

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Ford President and CEO Jim Farley has provided an update on the company’s burgeoning partnership with the Red Bull F1 team, declaring himself “really happy” with progress so far.

Just under a year ago, it was announced that Ford and Red Bull Powertrains would be working together to develop a next-gen power unit to supply Red Bull Racing and their sister team – now named RB – from 2026 until at least 2030.

READ MORE: Ford announce new technical partnership with Red Bull for 2026 and beyond

After several site visits and exchanges between Ford and Red Bull employees, Farley expressed early optimism about the process and how the plans are coming together.

“I had a chance to spend a lot of time with the team in Milton Keynes and with [Red Bull Chief Technical Officer] Adrian Newey,” he said at Ford’s 2024 season launch.

“I think we’re on track. 2026, even though it sounds like a long way away, we have a lot of work to do on the powertrain, but I’m really happy with the progress. I wish I could tell you more, but I would say we’re on track!”

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Ford and Red Bull announced their new partnership ahead of the 2023 season

As for why Ford – who have a rich F1 history stretching back to the 1960s – are coming back to the sport, Farley explained that the shift towards electrical power and the opportunity for technology transfer between the two parties made it a no-brainer.

“We’re going back to F1 in a way that we haven’t in the past,” he commented. “It turns out that the best aerodynamics in the world are in F1, the best telemetry, the best digital diagnostics, and we need all those things for electric and digital cars.

GREATEST HITS: Ford’s best moments in F1 as they get set for a comeback with Red Bull

“It’s actually going back to the ‘70s with a pure tech transfer. This is not like owning our team, we’re going there to literally transfer technology.

“We can offer battery tech for them, because in ’26 they’re going to go to like 50% electric and they need a discharge battery, and we do that in NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) for example.

“On the other hand, we can get telemetry, digital diagnosis, as well as aero, which we can put in our production electric cars to make the batteries smaller.

Analysis: Why are Ford returning to F1 with Red Bull – and why now?

“It’s a lot of R&D and they are the best in the world in a lot of these technologies. We need them desperately as the car business changes. It’s literally like going back to where we were all those years ago [with] tech transfer.”

Addressing his hopes and expectations for the partnership as the 2026 rules reset approaches, the American continued: “We’ve got the best frickin’ team, it’s that simple.

READ MORE: Horner explains why Red Bull opted to partner with Ford instead of ‘incredible company’ Honda for 2026

“We’ve got the best drivers, we’ve got the best technical support, we’ve got the best of Ford around the globe to support them, but the powertrain team that they’re building in Milton Keynes is absolutely top-notch.”

Also making an appearance at Ford’s season launch via video link was Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who added: “The last 12 months have been incredibly exciting because we’ve been introducing the various departments within Red Bull Powertrains and within Ford.

“The exchange of ideas and technology has been fantastic on what is a brand-new set of regulations for 2026. From the executive level, right through to our engineers, everyone at Ford is committed to helping this team succeed.”

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