Porsche exec hints at F1 power unit program

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Prior to Porsche announcing its exit from the World Endurance Championship and commitment to the Formula E Championship in July, there were rumors circulating the German sports car marque might be planning a return to Formula 1 as a power unit supplier.

The rumors were ignited by Porsche attending an FIA meeting in July to discuss new F1 rules. In particular, the meeting dealt with power units for the 2021 season and beyond.

A Porsche exec has now added some fuel to the fire. Speaking with Motorsport.com, Lutz Meschke, who heads Porsche’s finance and IT departments, said F1 could be one of “the right places” for the brand.

“As you know Formula E is very important for us now and F1 is always a good topic to think about,” Meschke explained. “And I think we are in quite good discussions regarding the new [2021] engine.”

Motorsport.com reports that Meschke attended the 2017 Italian Grand Prix this past weekend where he met with F1 veteran Ross Brawn. Though Brawn is retired from the sport, he is serving as an advisor to Liberty Media which acquired F1 in 2016.

Porsche is reportedly encouraged by talk of F1 power units being made simpler and cheaper for future seasons. Interestingly, Meschke confirmed to Motorsport.com that Porsche has no interest in forming its own team.

Porsche has a history in F1. It competed as a constructor in the 1950s and ‘60s and then briefly as a power unit supplier in the 1980s and early ‘90s. Obvious teams it could supply power units to today would be Red Bull Racing and Williams. McLaren would be unlikely considering it competes with Porsche in road cars.

Porsche entering F1 makes sense as the brand will soon be without a top-level motorsport program representing its cars still fitted with internal combustion engines. Though Porsche is the dominant force in the WEC, it’s thought the brand has decided it doesn't get sufficient returns and recognition for the F1 budget-size funds needed for WEC.

Aston Martin and Cosworth have also been rumored as potential new power unit suppliers.

Stay tuned for an update.

 
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