Porsche is considering a return to the Formula 1 paddock after meeting with the sport’s heavyweights in Monza during last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
The German manufacturer met with Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn to discuss potential engine supply under the proposed 2021 regulations.
Porsche will end its LMP1 FIA World Endurance Championship program at the end of the year, after having secured a third consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours victory earlier this year. The German marque will instead move into the all-electric Formula E series for the 2019/20 season with a factory-backed team, as well as maintaining its GT program.
“F1 could be one of the right places,” Porsche deputy chairman Lutz Meschke told Motorsport.com.
“As you know Formula E is very important for us now, and F1 is always a good topic to think about. And I think we are in quite good discussions regarding the new engine.”
Meschke added there were no plans to form a works team and that “discussions are around being a supplier”.
He also confirmed F1’s rumoured plans for a simplified twin-turbo V6 are attractive to the Stuttgart-based manufacturer.
“Absolutely. We have to cut costs in F1, and it’s a good way to reach this target.”
Formula 1 owners Liberty Media are keen to see the German manufacturer return to the sport, according to commercial boss Sean Bratches.
“Ultimately we’re trying to create a platform and environment where more engine manufacturers and brands and teams come into this sport and make it a compelling business proposition to do so,” he said.
“As the individual who kind of runs marketing and branding at F1 the inclusion of Porsche, which is a heritage racing brand in our sport, would be highly valued.”
Porsche’s links to Formula 1 date back to the pre-World Championship era in the 1920s and 1930s when founder Ferdinand Porsche designed cars for Mercedes and Auto Union. Following a number of privateer entries, Porsche officially entered the sport in a factory capacity in 1961 and finished third overall in the Constructors’ Championship standings that year.
Porsche’s stint in Formula 1 proved short-lived, exiting at the end of 1963 before returning after a twenty-year absence where it supplied its engines to McLaren – badged ‘TAG’ in deference to the team’s major sponsor.
Its V6 turbo engines were a dominant force, securing McLaren back-to-back Constructors’ Championship crowns in 1984-5 and three Drivers’ Championship titles for Niki Lauda (1984) and Alain Prost (1985-6).
With rival Honda proving to be a more competitive force, Porsche exited after the 1987 season before making a disastrous return with the Footwork Arrows team in 1991 (pictured top). Its 3.5-litre V12 engine was so bulky and overweight that the team’s chassis had to be redesigned to accommodate it. After scraping onto the grid just four times in the first six races, the engine builder and team hastily abandoned the project.
|PORSCHE’S HISTORY IN F1|
Image via DriveTribe