Porsche considering F1 return

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Porsche are evaluating a return to Formula 1, the company’s chairman revealed at the Paris Motor Show today.

Speaking to Autocar new chairman Matthias Mueller said:

With LMP1, there are two classes and two brands – Audi and Porsche. We do not like to both go into LMP1 [against each other]; that is not so funny.

So therefore we have to discuss whether it makes better sense for one of the [two] brands to go into LMP1, and the other brand into Formula 1. So we will have a round-table to discuss the pros and cons.
Matthias Mueller

Porsche last competed as a full manufacturer in F1 in the early sixties. They won a single championship race at Rouen in 1962, with Dan Gurney driving.

They left the spot two years later having decided it was too expensive. But they made two subsequent returns as engine suppliers.

The first was their highly successful TAG-financed engine supply deal with McLaren between 1983 and 1987. During that time the cars powered by 1.5-litre Porsche turbos won 25 races and claimed the constructors’ championship twice and the drivers’ championship three times.

A later return in 1991, supplying V12s to the Footwork team, was far less successful. The Porsche-powered car never finished a race, and halfway through the season the team replaced the engine with a Ford unit.

Although Porsche hasn’t raced in F1 for almost two decades Porsche Supercup support races have become a fixture at most rounds of the championship. Porsche also competes in several sports car series including the Le Mans Series, the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am.

Porsche has also built a 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car which uses F1-derived KERS technology supplied by Williams Hybrid Power.

Video: Nico Hulkenberg laps Nordschleife in Williams Hybrid Porsche

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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74 comments on “Porsche considering F1 return”

  1. Its Hammer time
    1st October 2010, 11:50

    This is good news. Mclaren-Tag Porsche for the 2013 title

    1. Well, McLaren will by all accounts be looking for a new engine supplier after their Mercedes deal expires in 2012. But I doubt a new engine would be immediately on the pace straight away….might be a return to mid-90s levels of competitiveness if McLaren tried that!

      1. McLaren will be constructing their own engines.

        1. TheGreatCornholio
          1st October 2010, 12:45

          Spot on. The engine for the MP4 12C is made by Riccardo engineering so i wouldn’t be surprised if they do something with them. Even using Cosworth would be a viable option as they have big plans for whatever the new engine formula will be!

          1. TheGreatCornholio
            1st October 2010, 12:53

            Also meant to say that McLaren are in direct competition with Porsche in the road car market so i doubt they’d agree to a supply of engines which it seems is what caused the fall out with Mercedes!

          2. I think the Merc-Mclaren fall out has more to do with Mclaren no longer being main Merc backed team…

            But the road cars probably build on that further.

    2. Porsche has also built a 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car which uses F1-derived KERS technology supplied by Williams Hybrid Power.

      Maybe a Williams/Porsche partnership is more likely, that I’d like to see.

      1. I could definitely see that happening – Williams and Porsche will have a lot of experience in actually racing the Hybrid Drive technology by 2012.

    3. Make that a Williams Porsche instead!

      Just kidding, but it sounds like someone really looking at the big picture here (with not putting Audi and Porsche in competition for the same trophy).
      I get the feeling, that the VW Group is starting to have serious thoughts about getting into F1 in the coming years.

    4. Younger Hamilton
      1st October 2010, 18:09

      Actually McLaren’s Contract with Mercedes expires in 2015 and who knows they might renew it anything is possible even if they dont then its likely that they will construct their own engines but i love the thought of that idea,Vodafone McLaren Porsche!

    5. Mclaren have a engine deal with Mercedes until 2015 I guess.

  2. So this is actually Porsche right? Tony Fernandes hasn’t just bought the name as well?

    1. COTD (my comment is too short)

    2. LOL Tommy! Nice one

    3. Haha! Classic.

  3. I can’t see it happening until 2013 at the earliest. There’s no sense in developing an engine for 2011 and/or 2012, only to have engine regulations change and having to do it all over again. And I certainly don’t expect them to establish a team.

    1. The full article states they are looking into joining in 2013.

  4. Well, eh? Porche made rubbishy F1 engines last time they’ll have to do a lot better this time. Still it’s good to get Volkswagen into the sport, maybe in a tye up with McLaren please, like you buy 30%, don’t interfer and give us lots of cash, we’ll bring you titles promise.

    1. I suppose that would not work very well with the competition in road cars (McLarens new line of products competing with Audi R8, Lamborghini, Bugatti and now Porsche and all).

      And with Ron Dennis seriously rubbishing the Bugatti Veyron, that might be of concern ;-)

      1. eh?

        I want big German engines! Original Big German Engine Car people have mooched of to do own thing, I want new big German engines!

        What the hells the problem Volk can supply the engines for McLaren, they clearly don’t have enough supercar lines!

        1. Maybe they are fancying getting into the mix with Lambo, instead of Porsche?

          That new concept car presented in Paris (Sesto Elemento) takes something from the McLaren MP4-12C idea, but takes the carbon fibre to the extreme with everything from exhausts to drive train and passenger cell in between.

          1. Key word being concept, I suspect. Still I doubt Volk would enter a lambo entry, too close to Ferrari, no point really.

            Porche probably the ideal brand. Especially if the make it Porche-Volkswagen or something along those lines. For maximum brand somthing or other.

          2. I’ve thought of that too. In the recent past VW has talked about entering as an engine supplier only. If they did buy a team it would kind of make sense to brand the team and car as Porsche, with the engine being branded as VW, but maybe it’ll just be Porsche across the board.

  5. Flavio Bonacordi
    1st October 2010, 12:20

    I would like to see a “fight” between Ferrari x Porche!

    1. It would be a throwback to old Le Mans

  6. I think it would be good to get Porsche back into F1, especially if the rumours of the engine rules, and tyre rules for 2013 hold true. I imagine Volkswagen could transfer a lot of skills and knowledge that they would have gained from their Audi LMP1 program into a Formula 1 program.

    With manufacturers in F1, it should be a creditability thing; if you want be taken seriously as an exotic super car manufacturer then you should have an F1 team. Having said that, Volkswagen would fill out half the grid if they entered a team for every exotic super car brand that they own.

    So maybe instead of entering Porsche, what Volkswagen should do is buy Toro Rosso, and relaunch it as an Italian based Lamborghini team.

    1. And what would they do about engines? There’s no sense in developing one, since a new forumla is omcing in for 2013. They’ve have to be known as Lamborghini-Ferrari or rebadge an engine like Cosworth.

      Personally, I wouldn’t object to Porsche supplying engines and naming rights to someone like ART Grand Prix or Barwa Addax. Addax Porsche Racing has a nice sound to it.

      1. Ouch, i would think both VW (or the Lamborghini) management would not be in favour of running Ferrari engines and i would imagine Ferrari to be dead set against that!

        As you say they could rebrand the Cosworth and get Williams to give them a hand with KERS or just buy the Toyota or BMW package and use it.

        Addax Porsche sounds a bit like ADAC Porsche (i am pretty sure the German automobile club did have some sort of sponsoring in DTM or Porsche supercup in the past).

    2. UneedAFinn2Win
      1st October 2010, 14:43

      There is literally nothing they could bring in from LMP1, especially if they come as an engine supplier. And as for aerodynamics and/or chassis, just ask Wirth design how designing a winning car in one discipline translates to Formula 1

      1. I wouldn’t be so sure.

        The skills that Volkswagen engineers and designers have developed in other racing series would be transferrable, I’m talking about work processes, research abilities, etc, as would the skills and knowledge that the team principals and management staff would have from running and managing successful race teams in other categories. Management of the team is just as important as technical know how, just ask USF1.

        1. A true word, look at the success of Prodrive with managing race teams. If they (VW group) can organise the teams procedures in the right way (not like Toyota, nor USF1) they could have enourmous success.

  7. Imagine having Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Renault in one season. Amazing.

    1. not just LOTUS… we’ll get 4 LOTUS cars on the grid if god willing



      1. The FIA won’t allow it. New teams cannot have a name that sounds like or is the same as another team’s.

        1. But they are allowed to have the same name as another team, if it’s in a different language.

          What’s Malay for lotus (the flower)? :D

          1. it’s teratai


            serius lol if tony and bernie can agree on that

          2. That would just be asking for trouble. Even if Lotus Cars could get onto the grid under another name, there is no way the FIA would allow a team in that is going to start an ongoing disput with another team over the use of its name.

    2. Wow shows how downhill Williams have gone that you forgot them ;) Oh and that other big name…Mercedes.

      There’s always the VW option too. Even if we got all of those names I bet there would still be cries for Aston to come in :P

      1. That would be utter amazingness. Aston Martin Racing would be pure win as a team.

        1. The only thing that’d upset me is that they wouldn’t be able to circumvent the regulations and make their car beautiful :(.

          1. I’m not sure whether I’d rather see an Aston Martin Green, or Gulf blue-and-orange.

            Come to think of it, I’ve just decided I want a Williams-Porsche in Gulf colours.

          2. “I want a Williams-Porsche in Gulf colours.”

            oh my god, YES.

          3. “Come to think of it, I’ve just decided I want a Williams-Porsche in Gulf colours.”

            Best idea yet.

        2. David Re=ichards has said that Formula 1 isn’t going to happen for a while, if at all. Prodrive own the Aston brand, but they’re off preparing the new MINI Countryman for the WRC. 2011 will be a limited-run campaign; 2012 will be a full season. And even then, they’ll have to keep going for a few years, and they’ve said they cannot run Formula 1 and WRC at the same time. Since they’ve decided on a WRC program, Formula 1 isn’t on the cards for years.

      2. ——————–
        **** AUTO UNION ****

        Why am I the only one to realise that Volkswagen currently own AUTO UNION!!!

        Mercedes was only one half of the Silver Arrows legend!

    3. Don’t forget about Mercedes. I fail to see, though, why Renault is remotely exciting compared Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, Lotus and Mercede :).

    4. Although Porsche do have history in F1 and in other motorsports of course, because of when I started watching F1 in 1991 they don’t really mean much to me as an F1 team the same with Aston Martin.

      I wouldn’t mind them entering F1 though if it meant a deal with Williams which saw them return to winning ways.

    5. Maybe to get more of the car makers in, just have Jaguar (owned by indian TATA) join up with Force India.

  8. Yes please! I can’t see them establishing a team, though. The regulations won’t allow for a car that’s styled like a 911. I must, however, admit, that the designer team actually managed to come up with something new (and absolutely beautiful) with the 918 Spider.

  9. maybe porcshe will enter F1 as engine supplier not as a team

    Williams-Porcshe; maybe?

    1. I think its common knowledge that Williams are fishing VW for an engine partnership deal a la BMW in the early 2000’s.

      But that would be great news, meaning a Formula powered by Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault, Porsche, Cosworth and possibly a McLaren unit (or they may just extend the Merc deal)

    2. It’s unlikely they’ll enter as a team full stop.

    3. i also think that, especially after the collaboration between them. maybe VW would like to take Williams over if the results were good.

  10. I read of a Audi-Porche-VW merger of sorts on Speed TVs web page and they mention the possibility of using VW engines in NASCAR. VW has also been mentioned in the past as becoming a rival to Honda in Indycars when the new engine specs are complete. Sounds like the new group loves racing.

    1. Audi has been part of the VW Group for about 20 years now (or more?), as well as Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda and lets not forget Bugatti.
      And VW was set to be taken over by Porsche in 2008/9 only for fortunes to turn with the global meltdown and VW to now have aquired Porsche instead.

      VW is seriously looking and thinking about who does what (they have Audi in sportscars and DTM, Seat in other touring car races, some junior open wheel series, and Skoda into IRC and considering WRC as well, and VW doing Rallye Dakar with their Touareg), and they have quite a lot of brands to fit into different racing series.

      1. There’s some great combinations to be made between F1 customer teams and Volkswagen brands.

        How about:

        Toro Rosso-Lamborghini
        HRT-Skoda (an old stereotype, but still funny!)

        1. Not really sure about that last one Keith. Surely HRT-Seat would fit a lot better (both being crap cars with a bad image and both from spain).

          Skoda actually had it’s latest generation of Octavia cars scrapped by VW this year (and their designers sent back to the drawing board to design some Skoda Dacia like thing) after VW judged that with the Superb already eating away Passat/Audi customers they did not want a Octavia getting that close to VW and Audi!

          1. I’d have suggested HRT-Lada if it weren’t for Renault. In fact, it very nearly was HRT-Lada, since Vitaly Petrov was talking with Hispania before Renault showed interet in him.

  11. Hmmm… 2 silver cars on the grid? I’d love to see their marque on F1 tracks as a factory effort.

    Like Ferrari they do make some lovely cars.

    1. Except that it’s unlikely to be a team. They’ll make engines instead.

      And what do you mean “two silver” cars? We already have four!

  12. Er, why are VW only talking about Audi and Porsche when they have SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborgini on their books as well, and lets be honest, whatever they ‘brand’ themselves as in F1, it will still be a Porsche designed engine…….

    1. Porsche is not the only company under their banner that develops engines. There’s no guarantee that it will be developed by Porsche.

    2. I think you’d be supprised. The best engines come from the Audi stable, with VW itself pretty good for the older generation of Diesels.
      Lambo (same goes for Bently and Butatti) already uses VW / Audi engines and does not build much by themselves.

  13. I think it would be great If Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari agreed to race against each other in the States.
    It is in the interest of everyone : Ron wants to sell road cars in the States, Lou wants the Ferrari prestige to support the Chrysler group, and Volkswagen has great plans for the U.S. market, with openings of new factories included.
    There could be guest appearances of the F1 drivers also
    A win/win situation for all!

  14. I’d love to see Porsche enter F1 again as full manufacturer team, but I very much doubt that it will happen as it’s too risky.

    Porsche have an unrivalled reputation in sports car racing and that helps them sell lots of cars, way more than their rivals. It would be a brave board that put such a great and hard earned reputation at risk. But if they entered F1 with the huge publicity that would generate, it would be Porsche’s reputation in F1 everyone would talk about and the sports car racing reputation would be ignored (which is why years ago Ferrari pulled out of sports car racing)…… and as we have seen time and time again with major manufacturers success, is far from guaranteed.

    I can see them supplying engines again, or entering under the Audi or some other banner, but as Porsche, very unlikely.

  15. The way I read it they are considering for either Porsche or Audi to return to f1. Not just Porsche.

    Personally I think it would make more sense to put Porsche in Le Mans and Audi in F1.

  16. Surely HRT-SEAT as both ‘spanish’

    Would be great to see either Porsche or lamborghini back in f1

  17. It would be great to have Porsche back. I really think F1 should stop with the aerodynamic madness and allow teams to develop road-relevant compounds. That surely would bring a lot of car constructors back to the sport, bringing big budgets and diversity to the grid.

    1. That somehow sounds scarily close in concept to a redone NASCAR, now with european brands. I don’t think I would like seeing a porsche F911 or an Audi AF1 4-wheel drive, mimicking the style of their best known sports car.

      1. I for sure don’t like the privateurs, national teams, low budgets, drivers paying to enter the grid and engine monopoly. Sounds very amateurish to me. Twelve or so top constructors would be very cool.

  18. This is fantastic news, go Porsche!

  19. I think Volkswagen is too much about reliability to enter F1, even as an engine supplier.

    A Porsche engine blowing up while being fast is just a race engine blowing up – something which can be expected more or less.

    However a Volkswagen engine blowing up, would give te same issue as Mercedes had when McLaren blew up so much of those. Taxidrivers around the world were getting nervous, I recall.

    And Audi’s diesels are doing the perfect job in Lemans, so why change that?

  20. Porsche will return if they see that Mercedes is doing a good job as three manufacture pulled out of the sports in 2 years, I think the best thing they can do is to buy one existing team like HRT or Torro Rosso who I heard is up for sale, another thing they can do is to comeback as a engine supplier & power William.

  21. Spyker -Audi sounds great ) never mind dreaming .. I hope Porsche will enter but i think they will be as engine supplier i am afraid.

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