Despite Ford’s influence, Horner emphasizes that the American auto giant is not dictating operations, allowing the Milton Keynes engineering team to operate independently.
Ford has lent its support to the new power unit being developed under the impending regulations at Red Bull’s state-of-the-art Milton Keynes facility. This opportunity was initially offered to and declined by Porsche.
With the backing of the manufacturer, Red Bull can avoid bearing the full cost of the program.
Ford’s expertise in electric vehicle technology is seen by Horner as a significant advantage for the F1 project.
“Their significant investments in electrification and cell technology bring a wealth of intriguing knowledge,” he commented.
“While combustion is specific to F1, I truly believe we’re witnessing some fascinating advancements in the electrical field during our weekly meetings with the Ford team.”
Horner also added, “As our technological relationship evolves, they’re continually adding value, making it a truly intriguing partnership. It’s been a highly productive exchange so far.
“They’re not instructing us on how to operate our business or participating from a shareholder’s perspective. The relationship has been extremely harmonious.”
Ford CEO Jim Farley, an avid motorsport enthusiast who has participated in racing himself, made the Red Bull deal possible.
Horner doesn’t anticipate any future leadership changes to derail the F1 program.
“It’s impossible to forecast that far into the future,” he said. “Our agreement lasts until 2030. Bill Ford played a significant role in this agreement, so it’s backed by the Ford family and Jim Farley’s zeal for the project.
“This gives us confidence, and given Ford’s previous involvement in F1 here [in Milton Keynes with Stewart and Jaguar], they understand the complexity and complications involved.
“They’ve essentially said, ‘This is your area of expertise. We’re here to assist, so let us know how we can help.’”
The main power unit research and development and dyno facilities in Milton Keynes are already operational, while construction continues on the structures that will house the manufacturing and electrical departments as the Red Bull facility keeps expanding.
“In terms of size, I believe we have the largest F1 campus,” Horner mentioned. “We now occupy a 50-acre site with 18 buildings.
“As the team has grown and evolved, it’s not about lavish architectural designs. There’s no glass and water features. But it must be practical.
“And what we’ve developed on the chassis side and are now replicating on the engine and advanced technology side is a functional, collaborative space for our employees.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ford’s Collaboration with Red Bull Powertrains
What is Ford’s role in Red Bull Powertrains according to Horner?
Ford is supporting the development of the new power unit at Red Bull’s facility and is sharing their expertise in electric vehicle technology. However, they are not interfering with the operations or involved in a shareholding capacity.
Is Ford interfering with Red Bull Powertrains’ operations?
No, Horner stresses that Ford is not interfering with the operations and is allowing the Milton Keynes engineering team to work independently.
Who facilitated the deal between Ford and Red Bull?
The deal was facilitated by Ford CEO Jim Farley, who is a motorsport enthusiast and has raced himself.
What is Ford’s main contribution to the Red Bull Powertrains according to Horner?
According to Horner, Ford’s main contribution lies in their expertise and investment in electrification and cell technology which they are bringing to the table for the F1 project.
Is there any concern about the future of the Ford and Red Bull collaboration?
Horner does not anticipate future changes in leadership at Ford to hamper the F1 program, thanks to an agreement lasting till 2030 and the backing from the Ford family and Jim Farley’s enthusiasm for the project.
How is Red Bull Powertrains’ facility in Milton Keynes evolving?
The main power unit R&D and dyno facilities are already operational. Construction is ongoing for buildings to house the manufacturing and electrical departments as the site continues to expand.