Ford Considering a Return to Formula 1 Racing
Ford, the American car giant, is considering a return to Formula 1 after a 19-year hiatus. The company's last appearance in F1 was in 2004, when Jordan and Nick Heidfeld were powered by Ford engines. Since then, Ford has shifted its focus to endurance racing and rally.
However, with viewership figures in the United States booming, and with two new Grands Prix added to the calendar in Miami and Las Vegas, the timing could not be better for a return to the pinnacle of motorsport. Viewership in the United States saw an average of 1.21 million fans tuning in for every Grand Prix last year, which was 28% more than the thrilling 2021 season.
This comes after General Motors, Ford's key US rival, announced plans to join the grid through their Cadillac brand, which has caused opposition from established teams and sparked a brewing war between F1 and the FIA. Mark Rushbrook, the chief of Ford's racing arm, believes that the company can no longer afford to ignore F1, with the sport growing both in the United States and globally.
"Formula 1 is certainly strong and growing, both in the United States and globally," said Rushbrook. "What they have done well is create great racing and great competition. It’s still the pinnacle, but they’ve been able to reach new audiences with things like Drive to Survive."
Ford has already been linked with Red Bull for 2026, when new regulations will put a greater emphasis on electrical power and enforce the use of fully sustainable fuel. This development has already attracted companies such as Audi, who plan to turn Sauber into their works team in 2026, and Porsche, who are exploring their options.
"We don’t comment on speculation, but it’s the same with all these series that are out there," said Rushbrook. "It’s our responsibility to study them and understand them, and then make decisions on whether it makes sense or doesn’t make sense. Sustainable fuel definitely is something we’re interested in, but we’re already doing that in other series."
Ford Cosworth is F1's third-most successful engine supplier in history, behind Ferrari and Renault. They have powered 10 Constructors’ Championships and 176 Grand Prix victories, with legends such as Michael Schumacher, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jackie Stewart and Nelson Piquet winning titles with Ford power units.
With Formula 1 booming and US interest growing, the time could be right for Ford to make a return to the grid and once again show their dominance in motorsport.