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Porsche F1 rumours fire up again?

GT Porsche tweet

In its own words the @GTPorsche twitter account represents the “biggest independent print and digital Porsche magazine”. Yet, often what this account says has a track record of becoming official from Porsche shortly thereafter.

Our observations lead us to believe they either have impeccable outside sources or the ear of some influential people inside the walls at Porsche. So it is with some alarm we read this morning’s tweet suggesting a possible/probable Porsche return to Formula 1, which you can see above.

The link to Red Bull is interesting also, given the current struggles with Renault in the new V6 power unit era. You’d expect Renault to get on top of things eventually, but you can bet Red Bull has thought about different engine suppliers several times in the last couple of months.

The return of Porsche to Formula 1 has been rumoured several times in recent years and had thought to have been put to bed now that the Porsche LMP1 program is weeks away from its return to competition at the 6 Hours of Silverstone on 20 April.

Indeed, just a couple of weeks ago the topic was mentioned here on AUSmotive, when Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche research and development boss, spoke about the company’s discussions prior to announcing its return to tackle Le Mans. And that decision made almost three years ago!

Our understanding is Porsche has given its LMP1 program a minimum three-year commitment. Would Porsche really run concurrent LMP1 and F1 programs? Would Porsche really return to F1 at all?

3 replies on “Porsche F1 rumours fire up again?”

While concurrent LMP and F1 programmes would require a mammoth commitment of resources, there are significant synergies now between the two formulas and Porsche’s investment in ERS-H and ERS-K technology could be shared between the two categories.

Perhaps it’s more economically and logistically feasible than initial thoughts would suggest?

Yeah, good points Craig. As one observer mentioned to me while I was in Melbourne for the GP, the F1 cars even sound a bit like LMP1 cars now!

Sharing an engine between endurance racing and F1 would not be unprecedented.

In the dying days of Group C in the early 1990’s there was an engine formula which was close enough to what F1 had at the time that Peugeot and Cosworth used what was effectively the same engine for both, interestingly with Peugeot seeing success at Le Mans and Cosworth seeing success in F1 with Schumacher’s first championship.

What would really seal it for Porsche (and potentially Toyota as well) would be if the F1 power unit rules were liberalised a bit. Were F1 to drop the requirement to use a 1.6L V6 engine (i.e. to become a pure fuel consumption formula) then shared LMP1-F1 engine programs would become very advantageous, even more so if a claiming rule was also brought in. Who knows, it could push Ferrari and Mercedes back towards entering LMP1 again via either factory teams or partnerships a bit like Sauber-Mercedes of 25 years ago.

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