Porsche only interested in working with ‘strong partner’

Sam Cooper
The Porsche logo is seen on a car at the company's headquarters. Germany February 2022

The Porsche logo is seen on a car at the company's headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Germany February 2022

Porsche’s CFO has said they will only work with a “strong partner” as they look to make their way onto the Formula 1 grid.

In May, Volkswagen’s chief executive, Herbert Diess, confirmed Audi and Porsche will enter Formula 1 in 2026 but their exact method of entry has yet to be established.

It is suggested Audi will look to enter as their own team while Porsche will work with an existing team on their way into the sport.

Red Bull has been heavily speculated as the team who Porsche are looking to join up with and now their CFO Lutz Meschke has said they will only work with “a strong partner.”

“If we get involved in the top class of racing, then it will be with a strong partner,” Meschke said, as reported by faz.net. newspaper.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner described discussions with Audi and Porsche as “logical” when he was asked about it earlier in the season.

“It is obviously great, the commitment that VW stated as the parent company to both Porsche and Audi that both have got the intent of coming into Formula 1,” Horner said in May.

“We are starting a new journey as a power unit manufacturer for 2026 so, of course, it would be logical for us to have discussions about potential cooperation.

Porsche’s CEO Oliver Blume explained why the group was looking to get involved and highlighted the increase popularity of the sport.

“Last year, more than 1.5 billion TV viewers watched Formula 1,” he said. “[It is] the sport that is gaining the most interest,”

This was the same opinion of VW chief executive Diess who said they had seen a significant popularity growth in the US.

“Formula 1 is developing extremely positively worldwide,” said Diess. “The marketing that is happening there, plus Netflix, has led to Formula 1’s following growing significantly in the US as well. Asia is growing significantly, including among young customer groups.

“If you look at the major sporting events or events in the world, it’s the case that in motorsport it’s really only Formula 1 that counts and is becoming increasingly differentiated.

“If you do motorsport, you should do Formula 1 as that is where the impact is greatest. What’s more, you cannot enter Formula 1 unless a technology window opens up which means, in order to get in there, a rule change – so everyone starts again from the same place.

“As Markus Duesman (chairman of Audi and former BMW F1 head of powertrains) always tells me, you usually make up one second per season on a medium-sized race track simply by optimising details.

“But you can’t catch up on that when you join a new team – you need five or 10 years to be among the front-runners. In other words, you can only get on board if you have a major rule change.

“That’s coming now, and it will also come in the direction of 2026 when the engines will be electrified to a much greater extent, including with synthetic fuels. That means you need a new engine development and you need three or four years to develop a new engine.

“That means you can decide now to do Formula 1, or then probably not again for 10 years. And our two premium brands think that’s the right thing to do, and are prioritising it.”