Prior to its confirmation of a return to top-level racing at Le Mans, made in 2011
, there was some speculation that Porsche might represent the Volkswagen Group
in the world of Formula One.
Porsche, whose reputation is built on the performance of its cars, knew at the time it needed to be in some form of top-level motorsport.
While ultimately it chose Le Mans, there was support for an F1 campaign within the ranks.
So what made the company end up choosing Le Mans? According to its R&D chief, Wolfgang Hatz, the disconnect between the cars in F1 and those in Porsche’s showrooms was too great.
“The final decision was the only logical one,” Hatz said during an interview with Autocar
. “F1 was an alternative, but the road relevance is not there.”
Hatz went on to explain that there was also too much politics in F1 and too much focus on the tires rather than the engines and chassis.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Porsche’s disinterest in F1. Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller has previously described F1
as "not interesting" and "simply too expensive."
Of course, entering Le Mans isn’t so straight forward. Porsche will have to be careful to balance its effort against corporate cousin Audi, though the competition could make for some very interesting racing come 2014.
Porsche's LMP1 race car is still in development but will be unveiled later this year