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Ford exit clause in key Red Bull contract revealed

Ford exit clause in key Red Bull contract revealed

Ford exit clause in key Red Bull contract revealed

GPFans Staff
Ford exit clause in key Red Bull contract revealed

An exit clause in Ford’s contract with Red Bull Racing has been revealed, in case the engine supplier decides to cancel its deal with the reigning constructor champions.

Red Bull had signed an agreement with Ford in January 2023, to form a technical partnership in preparation for a return to Formula 1 in 2026 when new engine regulations come into effect. Through Red Bull's dedicated engine division, Red Bull Powertrains, Ford was expected to supply engines to Red Bull and its sister team, RB.

Ford has a rich history of grand prix racing, first entering the sport with Lotus and its Cosworth DFV engine in 1967, winning on debut at the Dutch GP courtesy of Jim Clark. The Detroit manufacturer kicked on from their initial success to power ten drivers to world championship glory, the last of which being Benetton’s Michael Schumacher in 1994.

But Ford’s return to F1 might be on hold after Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner was accused of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ - triggering an internal Red Bull investigation.

READ MORE: Horner Red Bull testing role given MAJOR update

Ford were set to return to F1 in 2026
The current world champions dominated 2023 winning 21 out of the season's 22 races
Christian Horner remained on the pitwall during pre-season testing in Bahrain despite uncertainty surrounding his Red Bull future

Breach of certain conditions could end the partnership early

The release clause in the contract, which was first reported by the Financial Times, reveals Ford can end its partnership with Red Bull if it finds its collaboration detrimental to the wider Ford brand.

If Ford were to end the partnership early, it would leave both teams without an engine supplier, as their current partner, Honda, is set to move to Aston Martin in 2026.

Ford’s global head of Performance Motorsport, Mark Rushbrook, recently said the company was waiting on the investigation findings into Horner, adding that the company holds its partners to the highest standards.

“As a family company, and a company that holds itself to very high standards of behaviour and integrity, we do expect the same from our partners,” Rushbrook said to the media in Daytona, Florida, last Friday. “It appears to us, and what we’ve been told, was that Red Bull is taking the situation very seriously. And, of course, they’re worried about their brand, as well.

“And that’s why they’ve got an independent investigation, and until we see what truth comes out of that, it’s too early for us to comment on it all.”

READ MORE: FIA follows F1 with big Horner and Red Bull announcement

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