Thursday night was spent with Daniel Ricciardo appearing on The Late Show and Christian Horner and Sergio Perez filming with Jimmy Fallon – having F1 and Red Bull in town was a big deal already.
Horner himself said “the growth of our sport in America cannot be ignored” and by bringing the team to New York City at the same time it was going to confirm a new American partner it found itself massively in demand. At least with the reigning world champion and one of the most popular F1 drivers in the States it had the capacity to deal with that.
And then the Ford partnership did happen. The freezing weather meant rethinking a planned Times Square announcement early on Friday – especially given the massive cost of taking over the area – but meant the event was going to need to include the automotive giant.
Where it got chaotic is in how many stakeholders were now interested in being part of Red Bull’s launch. Ford wanted to turn it into a 2026 event, and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was in town as the welcome party to another major manufacturer. But Red Bull still has a long way to go before that partnership will start, and this was mainly meant to be about 2023 and Max Verstappen chasing a third straight championship with a Honda-influenced power unit.
“We are talking about Ford now for 2026 but I also want to say we are still with Honda at the moment, and what they are doing at the moment is incredible,” Verstappen said. “Without them of course we couldn’t have had the success that we had.