DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Executives overseeing the motorsports programs at Ford and Chevrolet both say that their involvement in Formula One won’t adversely impact their NASCAR Cup programs.
Ford will return to Formula One as the engine provider for Red Bull Racing. The relationship begins with immediate technical support this season and engines in 2026. Red Bull and Ford will partner on the development of a hybrid power unit to supply both Red Bull and AlphaTauri when the new F1 regulations begin in 2026.
MORE: Daytona 500 has frustrated many top Cup drivers
Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports, reaffirmed support for Ford’s Cup teams Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
“The way that we’re approaching it is Formula One, for us, is an overlay to our existing programs,” Rushbrook said. “It is not substitutional or displacing any of our current plans.”
General Motors has joined Michael Andretti’s Formula One bid and wants to race the Cadillac brand in F1. If the team is approved, it would be General Motors’ first entry into Formula One.
Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports for Chevrolet, said, if approved to be in F1, there could be benefits for GM’s Cup teams.
“I would say for us, we are early in the process,” Campbell said. “Just this past week we submitted our expression of interest to the FIA, so there are a number of steps before we would be considered to be in the series. So, we still have a ways to go on our side, but this would be complimentary and we use performance and racing as a place to really learn on the track and develop employees.
“Obviously, you get the benefits on the business side as well because when you win races you lift the opinion of the brand. So, I would just say we are early in the process, but this would be complimentary. We believe in the platform as a way to bring value to our company but also to promote our brands and driver business.”
In other topics discussed by Campbell, Rushbook and David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, on Friday at Daytona International Speedway:
Asked if there is a way to achieve higher horsepower — something drivers want — with a longer lifespan for engines, Rushbrook said:
“In terms of controlling costs, the biggest thing that we can do is keep the horsepower and the rules steady and constant and not be moving them up or down in different years. That’s one thing we can do because development is one of the areas where we spend a lot of money.
“There are also in most other series, there’s a homologation of the engine that it’s not as much open development that’s allowed week to week throughout the year. By reducing the number of specifications through a season, it reduces your development and some of your spend for the engineering as well as the durability testing.”
Campbell was asked about Chevrolet having only one Daytona 500 victory since 2015.
“We have won this race 24 times and the last time we won it was with Austin Dillon in 2018, and with that said, Chevy drivers won three of the four speedway races (last year),” he said. “Both Talladega races and then Austin won the transfer race at Daytona. So we won three of the four there and we won both of the Atlanta races, however you want to categorize the Atlanta track. We have shown that we can do it, but we have got to do it here. You are exactly right, so we are definitely hungry for that.”
Wilson was asked about electrification within the NASCAR program.
“Obviously social and market forces are driving all of us as car manufacturers to be respectful and to be sensitive to put carbon reduction at the front of our business,” Wilson said. “When you take it to the racetrack, I think every motorsport globally is faced with the same pressures, including NASCAR.
“The question is how and when and what. What I’ll say is all of us sitting up here have been working very closely with NASCAR on new technologies, on a focus towards reduction of carbon, but it continues to be a work in progress.”
Wilson on the notion of a salary cap for Cup teams: “The issue of budget cap falls under the larger umbrella of cost containment of putting some business sustainability across this sport that our teams have struggled with. This isn’t something new, it’s something that other sports have engaged, stick-and-ball obviously, but also Formula One on the motorsports side.
“Generally speaking, we’re supportive of it in the interest that it could again put some measures of reasonableness on what’s spent. That’s not a bad thing. The challenge, like every other application of budget cap, is going to be on how and how it’s implemented and measured and controlled.
“As we all sit up here today, we have direct engagements with our team partners and more of those are not check-writing engagements, they are technology based. Technology is a form of currency, so how you value those and measure them will be a challenge, but principally right now, this is a conversation between our racing teams and NASCAR.”