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From the Editor…
UP FRONT... An F1 return for Porsche is not as unlikely as it might first appear. We’d even stick a bit of money on it
Porsche back into F1? After the not so shock announcement that it would be leaving the World Endurance Championship at the end of this season, in favour of the Formula E Championship, I guess it’s something of a surprise that our favourite marque should be considering an F1 return in 2021. Scratch the surface, though, and rumours of a Porsche F1 return, or a VW Group return at least, have been circulating for a number of years. This no smoke without fire theory is backed up by VAG’s place on the FIA’s Engine Strategy Group board, where it was influential in the current V6 turbo hybrid regs, and has been instrumental in plotting a simpler V6 twin turbo, hybrid engine for 2021.
“The rumour mill isdebating whether Porsche will buy Red Bull”
playing the part of the grand tourer to the 911’s sports car. It would actually take another 20-years before the 911 was effectively replaced. That is to say that the modernised, water-cooled 996 was so radically changed from the classic air-cooled old-timer, that it was a new car in all but name only.
Porsche’s last foray into F1 – with the Footwork team in the early ’90s – was less than successful, but prior to that it dominated in the mid ’80s, supplying twin turbo V6s to McLaren and taking three World Championships. Prior to that Porsche tasted more sporadic F1 success in the ’50s and ’60s as a constructor.
So the history is there and so is the hybrid experience, thanks to the hugely successful LMP1 919 campaign. If the regs are formalised sooner rather than later, then Porsche will have a good run at producing a decent engine, too. And F1 is a better commercial bet than the WEC, so they would presumably be in it for the long term, too. The rumour mill is even debating whether Porsche will buy out the Red Bull team. Imagine that? Porsche and Adrian Newey building cars in Milton Keynes! Shame we’ve got to wait so long…
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