(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. is making a comeback to the pinnacle of motorsports, returning to Formula 1 more than two decades after dropping out.

The automaker will reenter F1 with Red Bull in 2026, when new regulations will require teams to increase electrical power by as much as 50% and use fully sustainable ethanol as fuel. Audi also plans to join then, and while Porsche’s talks with Red Bull recently faltered, it’s still eyeing a way into the racing series.

Ford has a rich history in F1, winning 10 Constructors’ championships and 13 drivers’ championships during a roughly decade and a half stretch that ended in the early 1980s. Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley is a longtime racing enthusiast and competed in his first professional race last month at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

“I’m more relevant to our designers and our engineers. I’m not some disconnected CEO,” Farley told auto-enthusiast magazine Road & Track. “It keeps me fresh, being around car people. I’m not at a country club playing golf. I’m with my people. The most intense users.”

F1’s popularity has soared since billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. acquired the franchise in a $4.4 billion deal in 2017. The once-stodgy and European-centric sport has cultivated a new generation of fans with a direct-to-consumer streaming service and the popular Netflix series “Drive to Survive.” The 2022 season averaged 1.21 million viewers per race, up 28% from a record set the prior year, according to ESPN.

Bloomberg reported last month that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund considered an attempt to add F1 to its growing portfolio of sports investments at a more than $20 billion valuation, though the potential deal faltered at the early stages because Liberty Media wasn’t interested in selling.

Red Bull and Ford announced Friday that they’ll partner on development of next-generation hybrid power units that both the Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri teams will use from 2026 to at least 2030. The automaker will provide expertise in areas including battery cells electric motors, as well as power unit control software and analytics.

Ford’s crosstown rival General Motors Co. also is attempting to enter F1 by partnering with Michael Andretti, the son of legendary driver Mario Andretti. The sport’s governing body opened up an application process for prospective teams on Wednesday, weeks after FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said he welcomed the news of Andretti’s tie-up with GM’s Cadillac and looked forward to further discussion.

Ford and F1 scheduled a briefing for 9:45 a.m. New York time at the Ford Performance division’s website to share more details on the automaker’s return.

(Updates with Red Bull partnership starting in the second paragraph.)

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