As Ford Authority reported early last month, Ford recently decided to return to Formula 1 racing and will develop power units for Oracle Red Bull Racing following an extended absence from that particular form of motorsport. Though this news came as a surprise to many, the automaker was reportedly looking for a new F1 partner for the past two years, and jumped at the chance to work with Red Bull after Porsche ultimately nixed its plans to do the same. Meanwhile, while some may worry that FoMoCo’s reentry into F1 might impact its other racing efforts, M-Sport Ford – the company’s World Rally Championship (WRC) team – actually thinks that it could be beneficial, according to Motorsport.com.
“Ford are entering into F1 which is fantastic and that is 2026, so that is a fair way away from now,” said M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener. “I hope it can strengthen our partnership. We have a partnership with Red Bull at the moment and Ford have a bigger partnership with Red Bull in F1 moving forward, so let’s hope that continues to help us grow as well.”
“From my side, I think it is great for Ford to be entering the biggest discipline in motorsport and one of the biggest sports globally,” Millener added. “Rally is a very different set of variables and KPIs for the brand, it is about taking their road cars and competing in the most challenging of circumstances and that won’t change. F1 is not going to replicate what we do. They are two very different projects. I hope our relationship continues for years to come.”
Currently, Ford is one of three automotive brands that remains committed to WRC’s Rally1 regulations, which were implemented last year. That change led to the creation of a brand new rally car – the Puma Rally1 – which was developed by Ford Performance in conjunction with M-Sport in the U.S.
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Time will tell…