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Ford's Red Bull F1 commitment "unchanged" despite Newey exit

Red Bull's 2026 engine partner Ford says its commitment to the Formula 1 team is "unchanged" in the wake of designer Adrian Newey's impending departure.

Red Bull Powertrains HQ

Earlier this week Red Bull announced that Newey would step away from its F1 team after a two-decade spell at the Milton Keynes-based team which yielded seven drivers' and six constructors' world championships.

The news was received as a huge blow to Red Bull in Miami's F1 paddock, while the team itself played down the effect of the 65-year-old's departure.

Red Bull credited Newey for his major contribution to its success but also insisted it has a strong succession plan in place under technical director Pierre Wache to stay competitive into the 2026 regulations shift.

For 2026, Red Bull has taken its engine programme in-house under the Red Bull Powertrains umbrella, with American powerhouse Ford providing financial and technical input as its official works partner.

But amid suggestions that Ford will now work with a weaker team than it originally signed up for, Ford Performance Motorsports director Mark Rushbrook insisted Newey's exit has no influence whatsoever on its commitment to Red Bull.

"We have huge respect for Adrian in terms of his career and all the things that he has done for many different teams in F1, especially the last 19 years at Red Bull," Rushbrook told Autosport.

"Nothing but admiration and respect for him and we wish him the best for whatever he will do in the future.

"Our focus though fully remains on the power unit programme for 2026. That's unchanged after this news and that is still going ahead full throttle."

Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, Mark Rushbrook, Ford and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner

Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, Mark Rushbrook, Ford and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Rushbrook pointed out that it was normal for both Red Bull and Ford to have succession plans in place, with the fact that Newey's Red Bull deal was set to end in 2025 meaning that his presence from 2026 onwards was never guaranteed.

"Continuity was in the very first discussions that I had with [team principal] Christian Horner," Rushbrook said.

"So, my question to him was: 'How is Red Bull going to continue to be successful in 2026 with all-new regulations?'

"Like any good company or any good racing team, you always have a succession plan, and you are always training and developing people within the organisation.

"That is no different in this case. I am not being disrespectful to Adrian at all because he is fantastic, but every team has a succession plan."

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Rushbrook said Red Bull was still its best possible partner in F1 despite the recent unrest behind the scenes, caused by an internal power struggle between different factions that remains largely unresolved for now.

"To do anything great in motorsport, we as Ford find the best teams to partner with. We believe that we have found the best team in Formula 1," he added.

"It is all about cooperation, understanding the situation and being committed to doing what it takes to be successful. That is continuing with both parties."

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