F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone has vowed to do 'whatever I can' to help support and engineer the return to the grand prix grid of one of the most iconic and evocative names in all of motorsport and automotive history – Porsche.
The last time Porsche featured at the highest level was when the German marque forged an ill-fated partnership with Footwork back in 1991 – a disastrous coupling that yielded no points and seven failures even to qualify over the six races contested, prior to a swift divorce as Footwork ditched Porsche for Hart.
The Volkswagen-owned manufacturer has since gone on to maintain its tremendous success story in sportscars, but is reputedly tempted by the idea of an F1 comeback should the engine regulations undergo a significant overhaul for 2013, as is widely anticipated, that would result in the introduction of 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged powerplants instead of the 2.4-litre V8 units used presently.
A number of leading figures from both Porsche and VW have dropped loaded hints recently that a return is up for very serious discussion – and as a fully-fledged team in its own right, too, rather than just an engine-supplier [see separate story – click here
“It sounds absolutely great,” Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Ecclestone told German newspaper Bild
. “Whatever I can do to make it happen, I will.”
VW is expected to meet early in November to come to a decision, and Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug agrees with Ecclestone that Porsche would be a welcome addition to the F1 field.
“I have no idea whether Porsche are going to come,” the 57-year-old mused. “If they do, congratulations and all the best. If not, that's a shame.”