Currently reading: Paris motor show 2010: Porsche's shock F1 return plans
Porsche could make a shock return to F1 in 2013 as part of VW Group's plans to enter the sport

Porsche could make a shock return to Formula 1 racing, Porsche’s new chairman, Matthias Mueller, told Autocar at the Paris motor show today.

When asked about Porsche’s motorsport plans, Mueller told us that Porsche or Audi, but not both, could compete in LMP1 prototype sports car racing; with the other brand turning to Formula 1.

However, as recently as June this year - just weeks after celebrating a third 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans in a decade - Audi’s motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich told German news agency SID that F1 and Audi “do not fit”.

Today Mueller said: “With LMP1, there are two classes and two brands – Audi and Porsche. We do not like to both go into LMP1 [against each other]; that is not so funny.

“So therefore we have to discuss whether it makes better sense for one of the [two] brands to go into LMP1, and the other brand into Formula 1. So we will have a round-table to discuss the pros and cons,” he said.

It’s no secret that Volkswagen Group has been contemplating entering F1 as an engine supplier in 2012 or 2013, and the newly integrated Porsche marque would give them a brand to suit.

Porsche last competed in F1 – back then as an engine supplier, too – with the Footwork team in 1991.

An engine supply deal would fit with Porsche’s recent motorsport activity, which is buoyant despite it steering largely clear of works entries.

Porsche claims to make more racing cars than anybody else. “It is important to understand we support customer motorsport and we earn money [through the 911 GT and RS Spyder programmes],” said Mueller. “We don’t spend money. We earn money.”

Mueller also said that Porsche’s motorsport division might yet support cross-country rallying, should Volkswagen walk away from the sport next January if it wins its third Dakar Rally.

“Maybe there is the opportunity to follow that model [of its customer race-car sales programme] for off-road customer motorsport,” said Mueller.

Autocar also understands VW Group's vice president for powertrains Wolfgang Hatz has been heavily involved in discussions with the FIA regarding the proposed new four-cylinder turbocharged engines the sport plans to introduce from 2013.


Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

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405line 11 June 2013

Turbocharged V6

Whatever you do, do not let Audi in, Audi are only interested in a motorsport competition if they can change all the rules, that said with Porsches expertise in turbo-ing high performances engines must put them in good stead, personally I would like to see BMW-TAG get back together.

Peter Cavellini 3 October 2010

Re: Porsche's shock F1 return plans

And what size of engine are in next years F1 cars?, didn't hear anything about V12's or V10's for that matter!.

Lanehogger 1 October 2010

Re: Porsche's shock F1 return plans

Autocar wrote:
Mueller told us that Porsche or Audi, but not both, could compete in LMP1 prototype sports car racing

Having Bentley compete alongside factory and private Audis at Le Mans in the early noughties wasn't a problem then for VAG?

Although they have dabbled in F1 before, Porsche, as well as its history and image, is always synonymous with sportscar racing and that is the category they should continue to primarily participate in. The same could be said for Audi, regardless of previous rallying and touring car involvment and I see no reason why they cannot remain in sportcar racing. A bit of in-house rivalry in motorsport is never a bad thing while it also broadens the chances of success for the parent group.

As one of the posts suggested, Lamborghini would be the best brand for the VAG to enter F1 under, particularly when lined up on the grid alongside its age old Italian rival.