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No newcomer status Red Bull Ford

'Red Bull Ford misses out on newcomer status after Ferrari protest'

9 February at 09:26
Last update 9 February at 12:32
  • GPblog.com

Red Bull Powertrains, which will go through life as Red Bull Ford from 2026, would not be granted rookie status by the FIA. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Ferrari objected to the status and the Italian racing team was reportedly successful in doing so.

Ferrari president John Elkann and CEO Benedetto Vigna reportedly objected to the newcomer status that would be granted to Red Bull Powertrains once it starts producing its own engines in 2026. On this, the FIA reportedly decided not to grant that status to Red Bull Ford's entry.

'Ferrari blocks newcomer status Red Bull Ford'

The reason: Red Bull Powertrains would already have too much knowledge about engines, despite being a new department within the team. For example, the Italian newspaper cites former Mercedes chief Ben Hodgkinson, who switched to Red Bull's newly created engine department in 2021, as well as a number of other engine experts. In addition, Red Bull's partnership with Honda is said to put it "on par" with Ferrari and Mercedes in terms of engine expertise.

Mercedes, Renault and Audi are said to have joined forces with Ferrari to stop the newcomer status and they seem to have succeeded. According to them, Audi would be the only "real" newcomer and the corresponding status would belong to the German manufacturer.

Ferrari put pressure on FIA

Newcomer status allows new engine manufacturers to invest more resources and test hours in producing the first powerplant for 2026. Ford would have claimed this status had it wanted to enter independently as an engine supplier, starting from scratch, but its partnership with Red Bull means the US brand will not get the special status either.

Ferrari reportedly refused to put its signature to the new engine regulations unless Red Bull was to be taken away the newcomer status. According to the Italian medium, this contributed to the FIA changing tack.