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Porsche admits that it is "thinking about" F1

NEWS STORY
03/11/2021

Porsche admits that it is "thinking about" F1

The new head of Porsche Motorsport admits that the German manufacturer is "thinking about" entering F1, but admits that electrification and more standard parts will be key to the final decision.

For as long as anyone can remember there has been talk of Porsche returning to Formula One. The legendary German manufacturer first entered the sport in 1961 with its F2 car, returning a year later with the purpose built 804, which, in the hands of Dan Gurney, gave the company its sole F1 win as a constructor.

In the early 80s, Porsche returned to the sport, this time as engine partner to McLaren, the TAG-badged units taking the Woking team to successive constructor titles in 1984 and 1985, and driver titles for Niki Lauda (1984) and Alain Prost (1985 and 1986).

However, similar to the nightmare that beset Honda's initial return to F1 with McLaren in 2015, Porsche's return to F1 in 1991 was a disaster, the Footwork Arrows regularly failing to qualify for races and late that same season the team switched to Cosworth and Porsche left F1 seemingly never to return.

In the years since there has been much talk of a return but in early 2015 Porsche's head of development, Wolfgang Hatz ruled out a return, claiming that Le Mans was more attractive.

Just over two years later there appeared to be a change of heart, when it was revealed that Porsche, along with Cosworth and Aston Martin, had attended a meeting of the Power Unit Working Group, and was just weeks away from making a decision on whether to return to F1.

Two months later, having announced the termination of its LMP1 programme, Porsche confirmed its foray into Formula E, while deputy chairman, Lutz Meschke met with F1 bosses at Monza as the German manufacturer continued to mull a possible return.

"F1 could be one of the right places," Meschke told Autosport. "As you know, Formula E is very important for us now, and F1 is always a good topic to think about. And I think we are in quite good discussions regarding the new engine."

Asked if the plans for a more basic twin-turbo V6, which would see the controversial and expensive MGU-H dropped, might make F1 more attractive to Porsche, Meschke said: "Absolutely. We have to cut costs in F1, and it's a good way to reach this target."

However, he insisted that his company, which is part of the VW Group, had no intention of returning to F1 as a constructor, merely as an engine supplier.

At the same time however, VW Group director, Bernhard Gobmeier, appeared to rule out F1, claiming that the sport was on a "dangerous path", citing the sheer expense of the sport among other things.

With the introduction of the budget cap, and a determined effort to prove the sport's green credentials, not to mention the "boom" the sport is cuirrently enjoying, F1 has suddenly become attractive to Porsche again.

"It's not a secret that we are thinking about it," says the new head of Porsche Motorsport, Thomas Laudenbach according to Speedcafe.com.

"It's not a secret we are talking to the FIA and it's not a secret that we are, let's say, seriously considering it. But there is no decision made yet," he admits.

"From what I know, a lot of things are going to the right direction concerning Formula 1, how important is the electrification or the electric part of the powertrain. We would like to see more standard parts in the engine, the freedom of electric parts.

"Many of the factors that I mentioned from what we know, they might be coming true."

But time is of the essence he warned.

"One thing is clear, if such a decision is made you can't wait too long because if you want to race in 2025 you have to start at a certain time. That's where we are.

"If somebody really thinks about entering this championship as a power unit manufacturer, you should always combine that with a major change in the rules so that everybody has to make step and you're not the only one.

"It is also not a secret that if you look at PR values and fan-base and advertising value, Formula 1 is extremely good compared to other series. There is no question about it."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 05/11/2021 10:59

"I'm all for Porsche returning to F1 - the more the merrier!
Unfortunately, from what various sources are saying, their future participation is partially hinged on the Rules being substantially tweaked to suit them. Ax a new entrant they would be allowed significant opportunities to develop the PU & that should be enough."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Superbird70, 04/11/2021 11:49

"These are the guys that should purchase the Haas team. They can buy out Mazepin's dad and keep a promising German driver in a German team."

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3. Posted by kenji, 03/11/2021 13:49

"It's anyones guess ATM but I seem to think that McLaren would be in the frame as the most likely. Andreas Seidl would be ideally placed given his connections and the fact that they are a top team...even if the current results don't reflect that in the numbers. They need an exclusive engine deal."

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4. Posted by Wokingchap, 03/11/2021 12:32

"This begs the question, 'who will use their engines?'. Williams perhaps?"

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5. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 03/11/2021 12:01

"I wonder if they will have an engine that produces more power when the steering wheel is in the straight ahead position."

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6. Posted by kenji, 03/11/2021 11:25

"Memo to Porsche....Just do it."

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