Ford has already set into motion plans to enter the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in 2019 and has embarked on negotiations of securing a partner team.
The Blue Oval is expected to bring its current FIA World Endurance Championship program with the Ford GT to an end next summer before looking to immediately begin racing in a new championship.
It’s understood the American manufacturer has not yet had explicit board approval for the program, although a final decision on where Ford will activate a new electrically-oriented project is expected imminently.
Formula E is currently the favorite option, and as revealed last month, Ford has both accelerated its interest in the series and sent senior executives to the recent Mexico City E-Prix.
E-racing365 has since learned that Ford has begun its first steps in preparing for the all-electric championship by entering and registering through a three-pronged criteria that includes expressing interest, attending a meeting with the FIA and confirming an official registration for the sixth season of Formula E, which begins at the end of 2019.
The registration will, however, only be valid and finalized if a Ford-entered car is eventually homologated by the FIA. The initial registration is valid for one season only.
While not outright confirming the program, Ford Performance’s Global Motorsports Director Mark Rushbrook indicated that it is putting preparatory strategies in place should it formally commit to Formula E.
“There are deadlines that need to be met by the FIA and by Formula E, so we’ve got those mapped out and we are working towards those deadlines,” Rushbrook told e-racing365 last weekend at Sebring.
“We’re studying Formula E again, and we’ll make the decision whether or not it makes sense for us.
“It’s got to check all the boxes and it’s got to be a race series in a championship that matters.
“It’s got to give us the ability for the two-way transfer and develop our people, and help tell the story as we’re launching full-electric cars, and if we were racing on Formula E, what we’d be able to apply to our full-electric cars.
“It’s part of the study, alongside prototypes, hybrid, GT hybrid, electric Rallycross, Formula E.”
Dragon Racing remains the most likely partner for Ford, with the American team, through the Penske name, registered as a manufacturer for Season Five.
Team boss Jay Penske is known to be keen on relocating some or potentially all of its operations to the U.S. in the future., with technical director Nicolas Maduit having recently moved his family to California.
The idea was centered on Dragon forming a software writing group utilizing talent from Silicon Valley, although those plans have stalled following it split with Faraday Future after Season Three.
Penske has recently made changes to his team, most notably with Nigel Beresford, Penske’s longtime ally and Formula E team co-founder, left the operation last week.
Rushbrook, meanwhile, stated that entering Formula E with an existing team would be the preferred method, should it green-light the program.
“The way that we’ve approached [sports car] racing or NASCAR is with partners,” he said. “I don’t see that changing. Partly in the way the series is set up, because there’s only 12 teams and they’re already selected.
“It’s either partnering with those existing teams, or buying them out completely and taking it over. It would just make sense to partner with one of those existing teams.”
John Dagys contributed to this report