Horner: Ford "bringing more to the table" at Red Bull Powertrains

Christian Horner says that Ford “is bringing more to the table” as its partnership with the Red Bull Powertrains division builds ahead of its Formula 1 entry in 2026.

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

However, Horner stressed that the Detroit giant is not interfering with the business and is letting the Milton Keynes engineering team get on with the job.

Ford is backing the new power unit currently being created for the future rules at Red Bull’s impressive new facility in Milton Keynes, having taken up an opportunity originally offered to and rejected by Porsche.

The manufacturer's backing has also ensured that Red Bull doesn’t have to absorb the full cost of the programme.

Horner indicated that Ford's experience in electric vehicle technology will prove valuable to the F1 project.

“I think that where they bring a lot of interesting knowledge is the investment they're making in their electrification and cell technology,” he said.

“Combustion is niche to F1. But I really think on the electrical side we're meeting with the Ford guys on a weekly basis, and seeing some really interesting developments.”

He added: “I think as our relationship develops from a technology perspective, they're bringing more and more to the table, which is really quite interesting. So it's been a really positive interaction.

“They're not trying to tell us how to run our business or, they're not involved from a shareholding perspective. And it's been a very, very conducive relationship so far.”

Red Bull Powertrains HQ

Red Bull Powertrains HQ

Photo by: Jon Noble

The Red Bull deal was facilitated by the presence of Ford CEO Jim Farley, a motorsport enthusiast who has raced himself. 

Horner is not concerned about any future change of management hampering the F1 programme.

“You can never predict that far ahead,” he said. “We have an agreement till 2030. Bill Ford was one of the main drivers behind this agreement. So it's from the Ford family, as well as Jim Farley's enthusiasm for the project.

“So that gives us reassurance, and I think the fact that Ford had been involved in F1 before, here [in Milton Keynes with Stewart and Jaguar], they know how complex and complicated it is.

“They've pretty much said, ‘Look, it is a specialist subject for you guys. We're here to help so let us know where we can assist.’”

While the main power unit R&D and dyno facilities in Milton Keynes are already up and running, work continues on the buildings that will house the manufacturing and electrical departments as the Red Bull site continues to expand.

“I think it's the biggest campus in F1,” said Horner. “We're now on a 50-acre site comprising of 18 buildings. 

"So the team has grown, it's advanced. It's not a Norman Foster building. There's no glass and water here. But it has to be practical.

“And I think what we've developed through the chassis side of the business and are now replicating on the engine, and on the advanced technology side, is a working facility and one that is interactive for the employees.”

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