Porsche considering F1 return

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 ?ǣ 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 H???lkenberg laps Nordschleife in Williams Hybrid Porsche

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74 comments on Porsche considering F1 return

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

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

    • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 1st October 2010, 12:15

      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!

      • McLaren will be constructing their own engines.

        • TheGreatCornholio said on 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!

          • TheGreatCornholio said on 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!

          • 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.

    • 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.

      • LewisC said on 1st October 2010, 13:41

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

    • BasCB said on 1st October 2010, 12:54

      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.

    • Younger Hamilton said on 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!

    • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 2nd October 2010, 3:26

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

  2. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 1st October 2010, 11:57

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

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st October 2010, 12:15

    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.

  4. Scribe (@scribe) said on 1st October 2010, 12:19

    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.

    • BasCB said on 1st October 2010, 12:57

      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 ;-)

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 1st October 2010, 14:53


        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!

        • BasCB said on 1st October 2010, 15:21

          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.

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 1st October 2010, 16:32

            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.

          • US_Peter said on 1st October 2010, 21:39

            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 said on 1st October 2010, 12:20

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

  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.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st October 2010, 12:31

      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.

      • BasCB said on 1st October 2010, 13:02

        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).

    • UneedAFinn2Win said on 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

      • 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.

        • BasCB said on 2nd October 2010, 18:28

          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. Michael said on 1st October 2010, 12:32

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

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



    • 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

      • Dipak T said on 1st October 2010, 12:47

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

        • Victor. (@victor) said on 1st October 2010, 12:49

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

          • LewisC said on 1st October 2010, 13:45

            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.

          • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 1st October 2010, 20:42

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

            oh my god, YES.

          • US_Peter said on 1st October 2010, 21:43

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

            Best idea yet.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st October 2010, 12:50

          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.

      • Daniel said on 4th October 2010, 8:26

        **** 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!

    • Victor. (@victor) said on 1st October 2010, 12:43

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

    • 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.

    • BasCB said on 1st October 2010, 15:41

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

  8. Victor. (@victor) said on 1st October 2010, 12:34

    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?

    • Dipak T said on 1st October 2010, 12:43

      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)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st October 2010, 12:43

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

    • matt88 (@matt88) said on 1st October 2010, 12:48

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

  10. Steve K said on 1st October 2010, 12:45

    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.

    • BasCB said on 1st October 2010, 13:08

      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.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st October 2010, 15:03

        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!)

        • BasCB said on 1st October 2010, 15:27

          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!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd October 2010, 3:47

            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. Alex Bkk said on 1st October 2010, 12:52

    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.

  12. DGR-F1 said on 1st October 2010, 13:18

    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…….

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st October 2010, 13:24

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

    • BasCB said on 1st October 2010, 15:29

      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. Bartholomew said on 1st October 2010, 13:52

    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. Jim N said on 1st October 2010, 14:15

    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. Patrickl said on 1st October 2010, 14:30

    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.

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