Porsche has taken another step closer to a return to F1, with a leading representative for the legendary German sportscar marque revealing that it 'can afford' to rejoin the grand prix grid - and in its own right, too.

Porsche has not featured at the highest level since its ill-fated engine-supply deal with Footwork back in 1991, but it has been suggested that the anticipated revised regulations package from 2013 - centring upon a 1.6-litre powerplant rather than the 2.4-litre units used at present - could be a sizeable incentive to tempt the Volkswagen-owned brand back into the fray.

At the Paris motor show last weekend, new Porsche chairman Matthias M?ller confirmed that there would be a round-table discussion to 'discuss the pros-and-cons' of a possible F1 comeback two decades on from the company's last appearance in the top flight [see separate story - click here] - and now research and development director Wolfgang Durheimer has intriguingly joined in the chorus by contending that any return need not be limited to that of merely an engine-partner.

"If Porsche was to go to F1, then it would only be with its own team, because you need complete control over all the competition-related factors, including the car and its technology," he told German publication Auto Motor und Sport. "Porsche is a very profitable company; we can afford that."