For the first time, the Porsche brand has officially declared its interest in entering Formula 1 when the new engine arrives in 2025.
For Thomas Laudenbach, the new vice-president of the motorsport branch, the brand’s and the FIA’s desires are closer than ever.
It was an open secret, after years of more or less serious rumours, the Volkswagen group has never been so close to a commitment in Formula 1.
While the sport will undergo a technical revolution in 2022, another one is in the works for 2025 or 2026 in terms of engines. While the idea of a hybrid engine will be retained because it makes sense in the direction of the car industry, the change will involve a simplification through the removal of thermal energy recovery and a larger share for the hybrid system.
Recently appointed vice-president of Porsche Motorsport, Thomas Laudenbach assured several media, including the British magazine Autosport, that it is “important for Formula 1 to move towards electrification”.
However, he is realistic and does not see the discipline turning to exclusively electric cars in the long term. The priority must be more important for the electric part of the powertrain”, assures the head of the Stuttgart firm. As a manufacturer, you want to show what you are capable of in motorsport but it must remain relevant to what happens on the road. From what I know, the FIA has taken a big step forward in this direction and that will help.
Porsche finally admits interest in F1
After being announced as present at a meeting held at the Red Bull Ring on the sidelines of the Austrian Grand Prix last summer, Porsche has confirmed its interest in Formula One for 2025 but without a firm commitment yet.
It’s no secret that we’re thinking about F1,” says Thomas Laudenbach.
“It’s no secret that we are talking to the FIA and it’s no secret that we are taking this very seriously. But no decision has been taken yet. ”
Among the elements that could tip the balance in favour of a return to F1 for the first time since the late 1980s is the desire to give more space to electric power and the possibility for an engine manufacturer to express its know-how via the hybrid system.
However, in the eyes of Porsche, the arrival of standardised elements in the powertrain would also be welcomed. “Some of the factors I mentioned could come true,” added the Porsche Motorsport Vice President.
A decision should be made soon
At the moment, Porsche’s interest in Formula 1 remains informal. But if the new engine formula is indeed launched in 2025, a firm commitment will have to be decided within a few weeks or months in order to be able to put everything in place in time. A constraint accepted by Thomas Laudenbach.
“What is clear is that you should not wait too long if such a decision is taken because, if you want to be at the start in 2025, you have to start at a certain time”, he assures, adding that this time is getting closer.
Another element that may motivate Porsche to enter is the very fact that new regulations are being put in place.
“If someone is really thinking about entering this championship as an engine manufacturer, it has to be combined with a major change in the rules, because in this context everyone has to take a step, so you are not the only one in this case,” concedes the Porsche manager.
After having shone in endurance racing, a discipline with which it will return in 2023, and having experienced mixed results in Formula E, the German brand is considering F1 and does not hide the fact that it sees greater potential in terms of advertising, particularly with the development in the United States.
But if Porsche says it is ready to take the plunge, what about Audi?