Ford is set to return to Formula 1 in 2026 as a technical partner to the hugely successful team Red Bull Racing, an outfit Ford previously owned when the team raced as Jaguar.

Audi is also set to join F1 in 2026 as both a team and power unit supplier, and Ford Performance chief Mark Rushbrook in an interview with Associated Press on the eve of last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix said he'd like to see more competition from fellow automakers, namely General Motors.

“We go racing to compete against other manufacturers, and there’s already a lot of manufacturers in Formula 1, but we’d certainly love to welcome General Motors into the sport,” he said.

GM last year announced plans to partner with Andretti, which wants to enter the sport and has already been approved by the FIA, the governing body that sanctions F1. GM at the time said it wants to compete with Andretti using the Cadillac brand, and initially with a power unit from a supplier but eventually with its own power unit.

Red Bull and Ford logos

Red Bull and Ford logos

However, the GM-Andretti bid was knocked back in January by Formula 1 Management, the commercial rights holder of the sport. The parties are continuing negotiations, and an entry may still be possible in 2028, which is the earliest that a GM power unit would be allowed. The GM-Andretti bid originally sought an entry as soon as 2025, using a Renault power unit.

According to Rushbrook, another possibility could be GM entering purely as a power unit supplier to one or more of the existing 10 teams. Similarly, Audi is entering by overtaking the struggling Swiss team Sauber. For the original GM-Andretti bid, the plan was to establish an 11th team, based in the U.S. but with support from a U.K. division.

When Ford announced its return to F1 in 2023 with Red Bull, there was no indication that the team's star aerodynamicist, Adrian Newey, would quit after the current season. Now Ford may be competing against Newey as he hasn't ruled out joining another team.

Newey's car design from 2023 remains the most dominant in the sport's history, with 21 wins in 22 races. In addition to current Red Bull driver Max Verstappen's titles, Newey also designed the string of cars that delivered Sebastian Vettel's four titles last decade, as well as some title-winning cars at McLaren and Williams before that.