For Red Bull Racing today has and will potentially have a very high value. In New York it unveiled the present, but above all it presented the future by formalizing the partnership agreement with Ford starting from 2026.
In today’s event, held in the Big Apple, at the end of the presentation of the 2023 season, Christian Horner spoke about the past season and the one that will start in a month in Sakhir, Bahrain, but also about the future together with Ford.
The manager explained why Ford was chosen, what convinced the parties to join for at least 5 seasons – including AlphaTauri – starting from 2026, the year in which the new regulations will be introduced which will also reform the directives for hybrid engines, where the electricity will find an even greater importance than it can already boast.
Horner, why did you choose Ford as your new partner in F1 from 2026, considering that Honda was confirmed as an engine manufacturer in the list released this afternoon by the FIA?
“We chose Ford because from a strategic point of view it is the best possible solution for us. We have had a great adventure with Honda and it will continue for the next three seasons, but we want to design and produce our engines in-house and Ford has very similar plans Ford is back in F1 after 20 years, it is investing heavily in electric vehicles, so for this reason they will be able to bring important know-how from this point of view to create the engines for 2026. For us, activating a partnership with them was and is the best chosen from a commercial point of view, but also from a technical point of view”.
Red Bull comes from a 2022 full of satisfactions. Do you think you can repeat what you did last season again this year?
“Last year was incredible for us. I think no one would have been able to predict a season with 17 wins out of 22. 2 wins in 3 Sprint Races done. It was the most successful year in our history. This year the rules will be pretty much the same as last year so I expect the grid to be closer in performance, plus we have very capable rivals so I expect them to be a lot more competitive 2022 has been a phenomenal year and it will be tough repeat those kinds of stats”.
Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
Have your opponents – Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams – also changed a lot from a managerial point of view compared to last season? You, on the other hand, are always the same. Do you think yours is the ideal strategy?
“I particularly believe in stability. Our team in general believes in it also because of the culture we have within us. Each member of the team is part of the group. Stability allows each member to gain confidence, to improve, to perfect themselves, as well as to have responsibilities. We have very capable guys. It will be interesting to see what will happen to our opponents, who have changed. Also from the point of view of the meetings we will have at the GPs in the season that is about to begin”.
From 2026 you will build engines with Ford. Who owns the intellectual property of the project? How much support will you get from Ford?
“Obviously we’ve recruited an incredibly talented group of engineers, designers and technicians from within Red Bull Powertrains, but of course we’re not arrogant enough to think we know everything. And I think Ford, because of the size of the company, because of the research and the development it is making, particularly in the electric vehicle sector, has knowledge and know-how that we can draw on. I believe this is one of the most strategically interesting aspects of this partnership”.
“It was a very quick conclusion in terms of a similar approach to what Ford had towards Formula One and our position, and they didn’t want to interfere in our business, but they wanted to be there as a complement and support. So it was a very simple agreement, with the full support of Bill Ford and Jim Farley, as you can see, there was the intention and desire of both parties”.
During the winter there were rumors that Ferrari was interested in bringing you to Maranello as team principal in place of the outgoing Mattia Binotto…
“I’ve been at Red Bull since the beginning, early 2005. I feel a responsibility and a bond with the team. It’s always flattering to be associated with other roles or positions, but of course my commitment and my heart are very attached to the team Red Bull and the people I represent.”
Potential livery for Red Bull-Ford
Photo by: Camille De Bastiani
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