Revealed: Ford set very early target for ‘top notch’ Red Bull F1 2026 engine

Jamie Woodhouse
Christian Horner looks on on the grid at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Christian Horner looks on.

Ford CEO Jim Farley is very confident about the F1 2026 power unit that the US automotive giant and Red Bull will produce as they prepare to ride “first class to the very top of the podium.”

Red Bull has been dominant in the current F1 ground-effect era, taking every Drivers’ and Constructors’ title on offer and winning 21 of the 22 grands prix held in 2023, Max Verstappen claiming a record-breaking 19 and Sergio Perez two.

However, a major challenge lays ahead as come 2026 new chassis and power unit regulations will sweep through Formula 1, at which point Red Bull will become a power unit manufacturer for the first time, working alongside Ford.

Ford confident Red Bull continue winning ways come F1 2026

But while Red Bull may be new to the PU game, Farley said he was highly impressed by the “top notch” department he sees being put together by Red Bull at Milton Keynes.

And with the “best of Ford” in support, he can see nothing other than a continuation of Red Bull’s winning ways.

“I had a chance to spend a lot of time with the team in Milton Keynes and and with [Red Bull design chief] Adrian Newey,” Farley said at Ford’s 2024 motorsport season launch.

“Even though [2026] sounds like a long way away, we have a lot of work to do on the powertrain, but I’m really happy with the progress. I wish I could tell you more, but I would say we’re on track.

“We’ve got the best drivers, we’ve got the best technical support. We have the best of Ford and around the globe to support them. But the team, the powertrain team that they’re building in Milton Keynes, is absolutely top notch. We are going first class to the very top of the podium.” recommends

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Speaking to, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner recently gave a progress update on Red Bull Powertrains from their side of the fence.

He explained that there remains a lot of work to do to get that first power unit ready to be bolted into the 2026 Red Bull, but is “confident” the right people for the task are in place.

“It’s busy, there’s 24 months before that engine will be being bolted into the back of the RB22,” he said.

“It’s not that long in the engine world so there’s still an awful lot more to do in a very short period of time.

“But I’m confident that we’ve got the right people, and we can get there.

“We’re not going to go into detail yet of where we’re at, but we’re on a trajectory.

“But we’ve got a lot of ground to cover and a lot of ground to make up – we’re competing against manufacturers that have decades of experience.

“[For] Red Bull, 30 months ago this project was still embryonic. So what’s been achieved in 13 months has been outstanding.

“It’s a massive undertaking. It’s a ballsy undertaking that we’ve taken on but we believe that it’s the right route for the company, for the future.”

Red Bull will continue to use Honda power until the end of 2025, at which point Honda will join Aston Martin for the new regulatory era.

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