Ford will return to F1 in 2026 as an engine builder
Formula 1 just can’t seem to keep American car companies away. Last month, we were stunned by the news that Cadillac wants to enter F1 with the Andretti team, which is seeking an entry into the sport. While that bid remains in doubt, here’s one that isn’t: Today, the Ford Motor Company revealed it will be back in F1 starting in 2026, when the new engine rules come into effect.
“This is the start of a thrilling new chapter in Ford’s motorsports story that began when my great-grandfather won a race that helped launch our company,” said Bill Ford, executive chair of Ford. “Ford is returning to the pinnacle of the sport, bringing Ford’s long tradition of innovation, sustainability, and electrification to one of the world’s most visible stages.”
Ford’s first foray into F1 began in 1967 when Colin Chapman, the head of Lotus, persuaded Ford to pay for the development of a new racing engine that would be a stressed part of the F1 chassis. (In other words, it was a structural element of the car rather than being mounted in a cradle or subframe.) After being initially rebuffed, Chapman convinced Walter Hayes, the head of Ford UK’s PR, to help him lobby the suits, and the result was a development budget of £100,000—about $1.7 million today—given to Cosworth to create the engine.
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