The deadline for manufacturers to sign up for the new Formula one power unit regulations due to arrive in 2026 expired yesterday. Porsche who came close to doing a deal with Red Bull Racing are still apparently keen to join the sport, though no announcement of their commitment has been forthcoming from Stuttgart.
Porsche are unlikely to enter as a full works team and are looking again to partner with an existing Formula One outfit.
However, Porsche did win one F1 race as a constructor during the early years of the sport.
Porsche win GP as a manufacturer
In the late 1950’s the two seater Porsche 718 RSK was entered as a Formula Two competitor but given its competitive lap times the FIA regulations allowed it to be modified to a single seater and enter as an F1 competitor.
The Former F2 cars moved up to Formula One in 1961 but the current 1500cc engine was uncompetitive. For 1962 Porsche engine an all new 804 car together with a flat eight powered engine which delivered Porsche’s only win as a constructor at the French GP. The car was piloted to victory by Dan Gurney.
Porsche left Formula One the following season due to the high costs of the sport and their belief the series lacked relevance to their road car production.
Porsche nervous of poor performance
The German based company did return to Formula One in 1983 as an engine supplier though the project was funded by TAG and so despite the engine block bearing “made by Porsche” TAG retained the rights to the Formula One branding of the unit. Porsche were also nervous of failure at the time and were happy for their engine initially to be branded TAG.
TAG engines won 2 constructor championships in 1984 and 1985 for McLaren and brought Niki Laura a drivers’ title in 1984 and two for Alain Prost in 1985/86.
The Porsche built engines all in all won 25 races between 1984 and 1987 and to this day as an engine manufacturer TAG sits 7th in the all time list of GP wins.
Ford third greatest ever F1 manufacturer
Yet despite their forays into Formula One, Porsche have been eclipsed over the years by the American based company Ford. To this day they are 3rd in the all time engine manufacturer GP wins list with 176 GP wins.
Ferrari are top of the pile with 243 and Mercedes second having score 211 Gp race victories. Renault have 189 wins with Honda in 5th place on 89.
Had the Japanese manufacturer not withdrawn from the sport in 2020 they would have 14 more victories which are now credited to Red Bull Powertrains.
Despite neither Porsche of Ford declaring their entries for 2026 by yesterday, following the breakdown of the Red Bull/Porsche talks Stefano Dominicali indicated the deadline could be flexible.
Ford/Andretti hookup talks underway
Today sport1.de is reporting that there are talks taking place that would see an all American hookup between the Andretti Global Motorsports and Ford to enter Formula One together.
This week Mario Andretti confirmed his group are well under way with their development plans for a car to join F1 in 2024 and they are merely awaiting the green light from the FIA.
However, the Andretti/Ford alliance would only come into full effect in 2026 and Andretti would require an interim F1 power unit partner for the two seasons prior to 2026.
Ford v Ferrari in Formula One
Motorsport fans in general would surely love to see the Ford v Ferrari battle re-engaged as popularised by the recent Hollywood film ‘Le Mans 66’.
Of course back then the battle on track between the sporting giants was amongst sports cars. Though Ford’s pedigree with the DFV among other of its engines winning 176 Formula One Grand Prix has stood the test of time.
Ford’s last GP win was at the Brazilian GP in 2003, where Giancarlo Fisichella in his Jordan-Ford took the chequered flag in a rain affected race in San Paulo.
‘@PatricioOWard said he got goosebumps driving the car Ayrton Senna once drove.
— INDYCAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) October 16, 2022