Cosworth would ‘consider’ F1 entry under certain conditions but it’s ‘not a focus’

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Cosworth headquarters in the UK.

Cosworth headquarters in the UK.

Cosworth CEO Hal Reisinger has revealed the conditions under which he’d consider putting forward an application for a Formula 1 entry.

Last week, the FIA confirmed that six manufacturers have put their names down as interested parties in supplying power units to Formula 1 from 2026 onwards when new regulations are introduced.

These include Alpine, Ferrari, Mercedes, Honda, and newcomers Audi and Red Bull-Ford – all of whom, apart from Honda, have supply deals in place.

Ford announced their intention to return to Formula 1 during Red Bull’s launch of the RB19 last week but, unlike their most well-known years as an engine supplier in the sport, will not be partnering up with Cosworth.

Cosworth have no immediate plans to join Formula 1

In the wake of the Red Bull announcement, Cosworth CEO Hal Reisinger spoke to Autosport and confirmed that his company have no intention of lodging any expression of interest in a Formula 1 supply deal any time soon.

“It hasn’t been a focus,” he said.

“We’re very thankful that we’ve been able to earn a significant amount of automotive OEM [original equipment manufacturer] business.

“That requires dedication of all your resources if you want to do it well, and I don’t believe in doing anything less than excellent.

“It would require us to create another part of our organisation to properly serve Formula 1, which up until this point in this conversation hasn’t presented itself in a compelling enough business proposition for me to consider.”

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With no current sporting interest in F1, Reisinger explained that Cosworth’s current business model is to “generate income and cash that we can put into people and the business.”

“I’m thankful we’re unique in some regards that we have that situation,” he continued.

“It certainly makes my job a lot easier in my role, but if it would nurture passion in the employees and it could be a viable part of the business that enabled continued investment, then we would consider it.”

Reisinger confirmed Cosworth were consulted for their input on the 2026 power unit regulations but, as they are not an existing participant, he admitted it was unlikely their input had any impact on the rules.

“I think that only those that are directly involved are really going to have their input considered to the degree that it would have any input,” he said. “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. It’s their motorsport programme, it’s not ours. But that’s definitely the reality of it.

“So unless you’re, in my humble opinion, to be a direct participant and be directly involved then they will consult with us, hopefully because they respect our opinion and they want to consider the wider range of options.

“But it will typically boil down to decisions made by those that have a directly vested interest. And that’s not us.”

Who are Cosworth?

Cosworth, the British engineering company, initially came about when two former employees of Lotus, Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, struck out on their own to set up a private business and come up with their own engine designs.

Initially supported by Lotus and Colin Chapman, Cosworth supplied Lotus with their engine series and, in 1966, Chapman was able to convince Ford to help bankroll a new engine design from Cosworth. This design was the Ford-Cosworth DFV, which immediately began sweeping all before it after winning its maiden race at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix fitted to Jim Clark’s Lotus.

The DFV remained a constant favourite for teams seeking a reliable and powerful engine, and was available for supply up until the mid-1980s.

Despite going through a variety of different owners, including Vickers, Audi, Mahle, and, finally, Ford, before being sold to Champcar owners Gerlad Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven, Cosworth remained a competitive engine supplier in F1 up until 2006, through all the regulation changes that saw the moves to V6 turbos, V8s, V10s, and then back to V8s again in 2006 as a supplier for Williams.

No team signed Cosworth supply between 2007 and 2009, but Williams re-hitched their wagon to Cosworth in 2010 – as did the three newcomer teams HRT, Lotus, and Virgin.

By 2013, only Marussia had stuck with Cosworth and, in 2014 and the introduction of the new and expensive hybrid power units, the turbocharged V6s, saw Cosworth fall by the wayside – they had opted not to build such an engine due to not finding a backer, having built a 2014 engine according to the originally conceived four-cylinder rules that were later abandoned in favour of the current regulations.

Cosworth remain in third place on Formula 1’s statistics for the most successful engine manufacturers in the sport with 176 Grand Prix wins – seven more than what Renault have achieved.