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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Porsche, Volkswagen and Formula 1

Porsche, Volkswagen and Formula 1 Joe Saward's Grand Prix Blog
Joe Saward's Grand Prix Blog

October 4, 2010 by joesaward

The merger between Volkswagen and Porsche, which will be completed in 2011, could result in the group taking a look at Formula 1 racing – at least that is the opinion of Matthias Müller, Porsche’s new chief executive.

Müller’s job is to significantly increase Porsche sales in the years ahead. At the moment both Porsche and Audi compete in sports car racing, but this makes no sense in the future.

“We have to discuss whether it makes better sense for one of the brands to go into LMP1, and the other brand into F1,” he said, adding that there will need to be discussion about this before any decision is made. There is an argument that the Audi brand has no real place in F1 and that if the group is going to enter Grand Prix racing, it must do so with a band such as Porsche, although it might also pick Bugatti, Lamborghini or the long unused AutoUnion if it wanted to do so. The aim, of course, is to sell more cars and so AutoUnion makes little sense as there are no cars built with that name – at least for the moment. The Bugatti brand is über-exclusive and thus is probably not a sensible brand for F1 at the moment. The Bugattis will sell themselves to collectors. The 1,000hp Veyron 16.4, which was launched back in 2005, is limited to a production run of 300, while the $2.4 million Super Sport version, which boasts 1,200 hp, will come in a limited edition of 30. In July one of these cars set a new land speed record for production cars at 268mph, driven by former F1 driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel, at the VW proving grounds at Ehra-Lessien. This will be the last of the Veyrons with plans for a four-door Bugatti Galibier in 2013, although this too is a collector’s car, similarly restricted to a run of 300. Bugatti boss Franz-Josef Paefgen hinted a few years ago that the company could take the new car racing, but the chances are that this would be a sports car programme. F1 will only be a sensible route for the brand if it moves the brand a little more into the McLaren-Ferrari segment of the market. Lamborghini is a possible brand for F1, but there is no history on which to build.

Porsche is thus the brand that makes sense in F1 (right now) as it has been involved in F1 on several occasions in the past, notably in the early 1960s when the team ran the 718 and Dan Gurney took a win at the French Grand Prix at Rouen in 1962. In the early 1980s Porsche-built TAG Turbo engines powered McLarens to a string of impressive victories, but Porsche’s own V12 project in 1991 was a disaster.

Porsche wants to use the sport to promote its technology and so it is logical for the company to enter the sport in 2013 when engine competition opens up again with a new formula, which will give newcomers the chance to compete on a level playing field with the current F1 manufacturers – if they decide to stay. The plan is for 1.6-litre turbocharged engines with energy-recovery systems, which would be perfect for Porsche.The logic is to return to the sport as an engine supplier with at least two teams, in much the same way as the current manufacturers are doing. As to which teams would be best… we will have to wait and see.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 06:21 AM
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I would love to see either Porsche or Lamborghini names come to F1. They could also use Bentley, there's plenty history when it comes to it!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 06:44 AM
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Porsche would make most sense.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Porsche would make most sense.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 06:52 PM
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In related news, I spent the weekend at Road Atlanta at the Petit Le Mans, and the paddock buzz was why Porsche and Audi are spending so much money in one series. The GTC series is one thing, but to have both LMP1 and GT2 soaking up corporate resources plus a privateer in LMP2 just doesn't make sense.

I look for Porsche to move on to F1. With great anticipation.

Last edited by gerkebi; 10-06-2010 at 02:55 PM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 06:54 PM
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BTW, the Porsche hybrid looked pretty cool.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 08:02 AM
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I was at Petit Le Mans too. I went all 4 days and it was one of the best races! Next race I'll be in Sebring.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 02:54 PM
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Man, was that great weather or what! (Esp. compared to the Biblical floods last year.) And what a finish. The crowd around me went nuts when the Ferrari ran out of gas on the last lap. Half were cheering for the Corvette and the other half were cheering for Rahal to clinch the manufacturer's title.

I'll probably head to Sebring myself. Let's try to meet up.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 11:03 AM
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I for one was pretty disappointed with Porsche in the Indy series. IMHO, they would be best to stay out of F1 and commit more to all the GT series.

Unlike any other.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 07:20 AM
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Ecclestone vows to help Porsche enter F1

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has welcomed reports Porsche is considering entering formula one in 2013.

"It sounds absolutely great," the F1 chief executive told Bild newspaper by telephone, having not travelled to Japan this weekend.

"Whatever I can do to make it happen, I will," added the 79-year-old Briton from London.

Porsche officials have already announced that a decision to enter formula one could only be taken if the FIA's plans for a 'World Engine' come about.

Bild said the board of Porsche's parent Volkswagen will meet early next month to make a decision.

Fellow German carmaker Mercedes' motor racing vice president Norbert Haug commented: "I have no idea whether Porsche are going to come.

"If they do, congratulations and all the best. If not, that's a shame," said the German.
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