Years, months, weeks, days of speculations all come down to this, again – the question of when and if Audi & Porsche will enter the pinnacle of motorsports. Back at the Red Bull Ring, company bosses Oliver Blume (Porsche CEO) and Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, both have been rumored to have attended initial talks about the direction of F1’s power unit regs in Austria, potentially leading to an entry from a Volkswagen Group brand.
Now, the list also included the likes of prominent people in Daimler chairman Ola Kallenius, Renault CEO Luca de Meo, Ferrari president John Elkann, and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. Not to mention, F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali, Motorsport Manager Ross Brawn, and FIA President Jean Todt were also in the meeting to discuss F1’s technical future.
As mentioned above, we have been hearing about the rumors for years now, but the upcoming new regs and the cost caps, all say they just might do it, finally! Even Mr. Oliver thinks “F1 is the top tier of motorsports, and we follow it closely. But to turn it into a viable business case that dovetails with our core brand values, the regulations need to change so that Porsche can broadly identify with the new environment-friendly priorities. Synthetic fuels are only a first step in the right direction.”
Back in March this year, Porsche Motorsport’s Head Fritz Enzinger spoke to BBC Sport and said, “It would be of great interest if aspects of sustainability – for instance, the implementation of e-fuels – play a role in this. Should these aspects be confirmed, we will evaluate them in detail within the VW Group and discuss further steps.”
He also said “Porsche and Volkswagen AG are observing the constantly changing regulations in all relevant racing series around the world. This is also the case about the emerging new engine and drivetrain regulation for Formula 1 from 2025.”
Now that we know that there is a strong possibility that Porsche & VW could join F1, but let’s also take a look at which team they could potentially join forces with. Sources on the internet have said that they would first enter as an engine supplier, and take it from there. The VW Group is said to have held initial talks with three teams – Red Bull Racing, McLaren, and Williams.
Why these three teams, the backstory is very interesting and worth the read. Like we all know, this is Honda’s last season in F1, so essentially, Red Bull doesn’t have anybody as an engine supplier (they do, as they will take over Honda’s development, but not after 2024), and as such, the team is open to a partnership with a car manufacturer: “If an exciting partner comes along, then, of course, it makes sense to look at it very seriously, whether it be an OEM or another type of partner,” said Horner.
Talking about Williams Racing, the team chief Jost Capito has had a long stint at the VW Group – he was the head of the motorsport from 2012 to 2016 and returned to the German marque for its high-performance road-car division in 2017. He already worked with Porsche from 1989 to 1996.
McLaren, on the other hand, Team Boss Andreas Seidl happens to be the former head of Porsche Motorsport but has also refused (so far) that he will take Porsche or Audi as an engine supplier as opposed to Mercedes that powers the team right now. However, if I was to take a guess, I think that partnership will end in the future because that’s how it goes at times!
Moreover, with F1 already planning to introduce engines that focus more on hybrid power in 2025, there is also talks of making full use of synthetic fuels, something Porsche is already developing, mainly for its 911. Earlier this year, Stefano had also said that “the hybridization that we want to offer in the future is the right platform on which the manufacturers can present their product. Hybrid will be a diversified platform on which they can invest and promote the efficiency of their power-unit or power-train. Carbon neutrality is the other element at the center of our discussion – eco-fuel, organic fuel, and the good thing are all the OEMs and F1 teams share this view.”
So, there you have it, folks – all the talks lead to us thinking that Porsche & Audi look set to join F1 in the future. And since we are in the summer break, who knows, we might even hear the latest news on the same!