Red Bull arrogance dismissed in Ford deal
By Ian Parkes
Wednesday 8th February, 2023 - 12:04am
Christian Horner has dismissed suggestions of Red Bull arrogance after the F1 team recently confirmed a partnership with Ford.
The reigning Formula 1 constructors’ champions have entered into a long-term strategic partnership with the American manufacturing giant that will see the Ford name return to the sport in 2026.
Despite Red Bull producing its own powertrains in-house for when Formula 1 enters a new engine era in three years’ time, the team feels that partnering with a renowned OEM in Ford will prove beneficial.
As to whether there will be Ford IP within the system, Horner said: “Obviously, we’ve recruited an incredibly talented group of engineers and designers and technicians within Red Bull Powertrains.
“But, of course, we’re not arrogant enough to think we know everything. Ford, with the size of the company it is, with the research and development that it’s making, particularly in the EV sector, there is knowledge and know-how that we will be able to hopefully draw upon.
“That’s one of the really exciting things strategically about this partnership.
“It was a very swift conclusion in terms of the like-minded approach that Ford had to want to go Formula 1 racing and where we were, and they didn’t want to interfere in our business, but wanted to be there to complement and support.
“So it was a very, very straightforward deal with the full backing of Bill Ford (executive chair) and Jim Farley (president and CEO). You can see there was an intention and desire from both sides.”
Red Bull in rivals’ crosshairs
Whilst the Powertrains side of Red Bull’s business is slowly ramping up towards 2026, the team’s immediate focus is on the coming campaign that is less than four weeks away.
Red Bull is now the team to be hunted after ending Mercedes’ eight-year stranglehold on the constructors’ title, whilst the likes of Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Carlos Sainz will be out to end Max Verstappen’s two-year run on the drivers’ crown.
Looking ahead to the forthcoming campaign, Horner said: “It’s going to be an incredible season.
“Our rivals, for sure, have not stood still so we are expecting Ferrari to be competitive, Mercedes are going to be there, and there are other teams that could make some big progress as well.
“This time of year, it’s all a big unknown, so it’s a question of focusing on ourselves, on doing the best that we can.
“And then in Bahrain in a couple of weeks’ time, we’ll get to see everybody’s car and whether we have missed something, have we not.
“Then we set off on this 23-ace journey between March and November and there will be highs and lows along the way I’m sure.
“But we’re in a good place and looking to carry on that momentum from last year.”
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