Porsche 911 GT1-98, Le Mans 24 Hours, 1998

Porsche chose Le Mans over F1 for “road relevance”

2013 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Porsche 911 GT1-98, Le Mans 24 Hours, 1998Porsche says a lack of “road relevance” in F1’s regulations is the reason why it chose to race at Le Mans instead from next year.

The German manufacturer began considered a return to F1 three years ago but decided to build a new LMP1 car for 2014.

“It was clear two or three years ago that we had to be back in high-level motorsport,” head of research and design Wolfgang Hatz told Autocar. “It was a choice between top-flight sports cars or Formula One.”

“But the final decision was the only logical one,” he explained. “F1 was an alternative, but the road relevance is not there.”

“Also, there is a lot of publicity around politics and tyres, but not so much about the engines and chassis. The aero, too, is incredible, but so extreme that it cannot result in any development in our road car understanding.”

Formula One is introducing new engine rules for 2014 and Honda are among the manufacturers believed to be considering a return.

Porsche competed in F1 as a constructors in the sixties, winning a single race. It enjoyed a highly successful spell as McLaren’s engine supplier in the eighties, winning a string of championships, but a later return with Footwork was a flop.

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