After pulling the plug on its LMP1 program earlier this year due to cost constraints and announcing that it would enter Formula E, Porsche appears to be considering entry into the costliest motorsport on Earth, Formula 1.
According to Autosport, which spoke with Porsche’s Lutz Meschke, the deputy chairman of Porsche’s executive board, the German automaker is evaluating potential futures, which include the possibility of Porsche becoming an engine supplier. “F1 is always a good topic to think about,” said Meschke, “and I think we are in quite good discussions regarding the new engine.”
While the current Formula 1 engine regulations have seen costs soar due to near constant development and reliability issues, Formula 1’s future regulations are aiming to solve these issues and Porsche could be poised to become a dominant player in the sport.
Currently, Formula 1 uses a supremely complicated single turbo hybrid 1.8-liter V-6 that generates around 750 to 1,000 horsepower. However, as stated above, the reliability of these engines, or lack thereof (we’re looking at you, Honda), has caused costs to rise exorbitantly and pushed even once great teams into near death spirals due to lack of funds to properly race for the championship.
For those in the know, the current talks about the next generation Formula 1 engines, however, are looking to reduce that complexity and improve reliability. Rumors abound on what these engines will look like (V-8, twin-turbo V-6, something unknown), but what is known is that cost, reliability, and sound will be integral to the selection process, which apparently appeals to Porsche.
Porsche’s history with the sport began with Ferdinand Porsche designed Grand Prix cars in the late 1920s for both Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. However, Porsche wouldn’t become a true competitor until a short-lived rendezvous in the early 1960s. Porsche returned in the mid-1980s where the engines were rebadged as TAG-McLaren, which subsequently allowed McLaren to achieve 25 victories. Porsche left again, but rejoined once more in 1991, but after only a single year, left once more.
“F1 could be one of the right places [for Porsche],” Meschke told Autosport. With the brand leaving World Endurance Racing and ending its LMP1 program in favor of Formula E, returning to the Formula 1 world could become one of Porsche’s most lucrative and viewed motorsports, adding to the brand’s already long lineage of racing heritage.