Porsche is monitoring Formula 1’s progress with regards to power unit regulations as it evaluates a potential future entry into the category.
While parent company Volkswagen is not continuing with its own motorsport activities, it is still using its other brands in racing, with Porsche returning to the top class of the World Endurance Championship in 2023. That isn’t stopping Volkswagen from monitoring F1’s plans, with Porsche’s vice-president of motorsport Fritz Enzinger saying the drive for more sustainable fuels in the sport could prove attractive.
“It would be of great interest if aspects of sustainability — for instance, the implementation of e-fuels — play a role in this,” Enzinger told the BBC. “Should these aspects be confirmed, we will evaluate them in detail within the VW Group and discuss further steps.”
At the latest F1 Commission meeting last month, the teams and stakeholders outlined some key objectives for the next power unit regulations from 2025 onwards, which were:
• Environmental sustainability and social and automotive relevance
• Fully sustainable fuel
• Creating a powerful and emotive power unit
• Significant cost reduction
• Attractiveness to new power unit manufacturers
While the focus on e-fuels is of interest to Volkswagen, Enzinger adds that it’s not just F1 that is looking down such a path and there are other options to be explored.
“Porsche and Volkswagen AG are observing the constantly changing regulations in all relevant racing series around the world. This is also the case with regard to the emerging new engine and drivetrain regulation for Formula 1 from 2025.”
The BBC report states Enzinger doesn’t make clear whether Volkswagen would be looking for one of its brands to enter as a full constructor or power unit manufacturer, but there are a number of possibilities for collaboration in 2025. One obvious candidate is Red Bull, which is taking over the Honda power unit technology until the end of the current regulations and whose team principal Christian Horner says could go on to develop its own new engine or partner with a new manufacturer.
“We won’t be beholden upon having a partner, so we’ve got the independence to do it ourselves,” Horner said last month. “If an exciting partner comes along then of course it makes sense to look at it very seriously — whether that be an OEM or another type of partner, a battery manufacturer or whatever. It really depends what the regulations are.”