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Ford Performance Head Launched F1 Talks With Quick Email

Ford Performance will return to Formula 1 racing in 2026, partnering with Red Bull Racing (RBR) to put its power units back in open wheel race cars on the international circuit. The Blue Oval’s triumphant return to F1 has been years in the making, but it started in a mundane way with a simple email dispatched by Ford Performance head Mark Rushbrook himself.

A report from Motorsport details the short email that kicked off Ford’s foray back into F1. Rushbrook fired off the email to RBR team boss Christian Horner back in 2022, and it was perfect timing – RBR was in talks to partner with Porsche, but the deal fell through, leaving the organization without a partner moving forward. Coincidentally, this went down around the same time that Ford began to seriously consider getting back into the sport.

“For us, we were definitely on that journey of: Formula 1 is the right place to be, but it was how were we going to enter?” Rushbrook said. “We were talking to different teams. We were thinking about doing our own power unit program, independently. As it became very clear, at least from what we saw from the outside, that it was not going to work with Porsche for Red Bull, I literally got Christian’s email address, sent him an email and said, ‘Hey, do you want to talk?'”

Horner checked out the short email and immediately began chasing the lead. In fact, the deal was settled in just 12 weeks, compared to the Porsche negotiations that dragged on for six months before collapsing. In fact, Ford CEO Jim Farley attended the F1 talks wearing a Sergio Perez hat to not only lighten the mood, but to emphasize his commitment to the sport.

“You could just feel that there was an enthusiasm, a real enthusiasm from the very top of the company, from Bill Ford, who was so enthusiastic about coming back in F1, and Jim who’s a racer himself,” Horner said.

We’ll have more on Ford’s return to F1 soon, so sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford motorsports news and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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