Formula One

Red Bull: Ford partnership ‘very different’ to Porsche deal


Christian Horner says the F1 partnership between Red Bull and Ford that will kick off in 2026 is “very different” to how the team’s failed deal with Porsche was structured.

Red Bull announced its future alliance with Ford in New York on Friday, with Horner describing the deal as a “purely commercial and technical” collaboration.

Last summer, rumors emerged that an accord had been agreed upon by Red Bull and Porsche, with the German manufacturer acquiring a significant stake in Red Bull Technology that operates the F1 team.

While the gossip was founded, talks eventually broke down between the two parties. But another opportunity soon materialized for Red Bull, with Ford taking a keen interest in Formula 1 and assessing the energy drink company’s championship winning outfit as the ideal partner.

But the terms of the Blue Oval’s deal with Red Bull have little in common with what Porsche had in mind six months ago.

“It’s a very different relationship to what was discussed with Porsche,” said Horner on Friday.

“This is purely a commercial and technical deal, so there’s no exchange of any shares or participation within the business.

“It’s a very straightforward agreement where we will have the ability to share and access to R&D, particularly on the EV side, and sell technology software development and so on.

“Then on the commercial side, with Ford being so prevalent in the US. As a commercial partner, it helps us achieve even more penetration in that market.”

Indeed, marketing will be a very important component for both partners. But Ford’s involvement is also motivated by the technology transfer that will take place between the two companies, with the American constructor especially interested in helping Red Bull on the electrification side of things.

“Everything is on the table, in terms of resources from Ford Motor Company to contribute to this, where it’s going to add value and benefit,” explained Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports

“The initial areas that have been identified, where we’re working, are certainly in the battery cell technology, in electric motor itself, the controls, software.

“I certainly expect that we will have employees located full-time in Milton Keynes, but not yet, at this point.

“We don’t go racing just as a marketing exercise, anywhere, and especially in F1.”

However, Ford isn’t minimizing how F1’s current growth and popularity in America could impact the company’s goodwill.

“[The US growth] certainly helps,” Rushbrook acknowledged. “As we’ve said, it was that combination of the technology, and the opportunity for two-way transfer.

“It was the opportunity for marketing, and connection with diverse fans globally, but yes, the specific growth in the US certainly contributed to that – but it wasn’t the only reason [for Ford’s return].

“And it is great to see more races in the United States, and three very different races in three different parts of the country. I was at COTA last year and it was fantastic.

“I hadn’t been there for races before. It was a fantastic atmosphere and feel, and the number of fans there, and the passion of those fans – it is important for us to be part of it.”

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter

Red Bull: Ford partnership ‘very different’ to Porsche deal

You must be logged in to post a comment Login