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Ford says Formula 1 costs still a turn-off

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Ford says Formula 1 costs still a turn-off
By:
Co-author: Charles Bradley
Feb 1, 2017, 10:54 AM

American car giant Ford says that Formula 1's huge costs are the main factor in it showing no interest in making a return to the category in the near future.

Dave Pericak, Ford Performance director
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads at the start of the race
Dave Pericak, Ford Performance Director
Team Jordan celebrate belated Brazilian GP victory of Giancarlo Fisichella, Jordan Headquarters, Silverstone
Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTLM drivers for IMSA and Le Mans: Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe with Dave Pericak and Raj Nair from Ford, and Chip Ganassi
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 at the start of the race
Dave Pericak from Ford

The arrival of Liberty Media as F1's new owners has prompted hopes of a brighter future for grand prix racing – and a more popular sport could help attract more manufacturers over the next few years.

Furthermore, the FIA is hoping that those car makers not currently involved in F1 can have a part to play in discussions being planned over the next few months to frame engine rules for post-2020.

Under an agreement between motor racing's governing body and the manufacturers currently involved – Mercedes, Renault, Ferrari and Honda – the current V6 turbo hybrid formula will remain in place until 2020 at the earliest, but things are totally open beyond that.

After that date, a decision needs to be taken about whether to extend the use of the current engines or switch to a totally different concept.

But although a change from 2021 could prove enticing to car makers not involved in F1, Ford says that it sees little benefit from getting involved when the costs of involvement are so high.

Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance, told Motorsport.com: "We're not really looking at F1. I don't see us getting into that any time soon.

"Formula 1 is so expensive. If you look at every series we are in right now there is a relevance to all the goals and objectives we have, in developing our tools, technology and people and translating that into road cars. Every series that we're in has an element of that."

Ford last had an official works presence in F1 with Jordan from 2003 until 2004, famously taking a shock victory with Giancarlo Fisichella at the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Road relevance

Pericak was forced to deny last week that Ford was planning a move into IndyCar too, as he reiterated that it felt its racing programme was better served in categories that had road relevance such as GT supercars, WRC and World Rallycross.

"We use the track to test and improve our technologies, and bring it back into the road cars," he said. "That's working well, not just on the GT but other products as well.

"To be able to leverage that [racing] programme to polish the Ford oval and to communicate what Ford is about – our engineering prowess. It's been really powerful."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble