New Porsche chairman Matthias Müller has hinted that the legendary German marque could be on the verge of a return to F1 for the first time in more than two decades, under the top flight's anticipated engine regulation revisions for 2013.
Volkswagen-owned Porsche last appeared at the highest level back in 1991, as an engine-supplier to Footwork, and three decades earlier still the company had fielded its own factory-backed team in F1, with which American racing hero Dan Gurney triumphed in the 1962 French Grand Prix at Rouen-Les-Essarts.
The new rules – presently under debate – are expected to feature a 1.6-litre powerplant, something that would likely be of interest to Porsche, whose input into the TAG-badged 1.5-litre turbocharged unit played a large part in powering Alain Prost and McLaren
to the laurels in 1985, and the Frenchman again to the drivers' trophy the following year.
Earlier this year, Audi motorsport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich had hinted that the Ingolstadt manufacturer and F1 'do not fit' on a technological basis [see separate story – click here
] – with the inference being that if one of VW's two flagship names does join the grand prix grid, it will have to be Porsche.
Moreover, Müller makes clear that it is far from desirable for VW to have its two rival brands under the same umbrella competing in the same championship as is presently the case – albeit in different classes – in sportscars, and it has been noted that the Wolfsburg car maker already has connections in F1, most notably through Red Bull
and Hispania Racing team principal Dr. Colin Kolles.
“With sportscars, there are two classes and two brands – Audi and Porsche,” Müller told Autocar
. “We do not like to both go into LMP1 [against each other], so therefore we have to discuss whether it makes better sense for one of the brands to go into LMP1, and the other brand into F1. We will have a round-table to discuss the pros-and-cons.”