10 September 2011
Porsche: F1 just 'not interesting'
Porsche has confirmed that its return to endurance racing will preclude any thoughts of entering the F1 arena.
Porsche motorsport bosses have repeated their claim that F1 does not hold any attraction for them in its current form, despite wanting to return to frontline competition.
Instead of investigating at F1 programme, or even looking to join fellow German powerhouse brands Mercedes, Audi and BMW in the DTM touring car series, the Weissach company is instead turning its attention back to sportscars, having announced that it will develop a car to compete against the likes of Audi, Peugeot and Toyota in the recently-mooted FIA world endurance championship
"FIA is working on a concept [and] other brands have already shown interest," CEO Matthias Mueller told Automotive News Europe, highlighting the fact that the new series will race in Europe, the United States and Asia, "F1 is still not interesting for us. It is simply too expensive and doesn't offer enough in exchange, especially for spectators."
Porsche's motorsport heritage has always been firmly rooted in sportscars, with only brief - and, the TAG-badged McLaren partnership notwithstanding, generally unsuccessful - flirtations with F1, and development chief Wolfgang Hatz confirmed that the blue riband of endurance racing remained the big draw.
"We can be part of this new racing series in 2014, [but] this would be in addition to our involvement in the 24 Hours of Le Mans." he said.
The TAG-funded McLaren partnership remains Porsche's best period in F1, the company having aborted a works involvement in the early 1960s and seen its engines enjoy only sporadic success in the same period. Teaming up with McLaren, after being approached by then team boss Ron Dennis and TAG's Mansour Ojjeh, brought 3 three F1 world championships courtesy of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost between 1984-86, and the constructors' title in the first two of those seasons. The partnership also brought no fewer than 25 race wins, with almost half of those coming in 1984 alone.
Its latest appearance came with the Footwork (nee Arrows) team in 1991, four years after its last season with McLaren, but lasted just six rounds before its overweight V12 was dropped in favour of Hart-tuned Fords.
By contrast, Porsche has taken sixteen overall victories at Le Mans, including seven in a row from 1981-1987, as well as 29 class and overall World Sportscar/World Endurance Championship titles.
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