F1, from Volkswagen there is yes, funds arrive for Porsche and Audi

Thursday the first ok: engines at Red Bull and 500 million to invest in McLaren from 2026, when the regulation on engines will change

Andrea Cremonesi

– Milan

The appointment with history is set for Thursday, when the board of directors of Porsche SE, the safe of the Volkswagen group, should meet: on the agenda in addition to the financial impact of the crisis caused by the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops there is also the green light for the investment of the Formula 1 operation, as reported yesterday by the Reuters news agency, which quotes an anonymous source: “We hope to be able to communicate our intention to enter Formula 1”. As already anticipated in recent weeks, the German group – for years fighting with Toyota for the supremacy of world markets (last year it sold 8.8 million vehicles) – will enter with its sports brands, Porsche and Audi, from 2026, with the advent of the new engines.


For Porsche, this is a return. That of Audi, a brand that has raced and won in rallies (two brands and one drivers titles with Hannu Mikkola) and then in endurance racing (13 victories at Le Mans) and in Formula E (victory of the brands title in 2017/18) , instead it is an absolute first. And the house of the Four Rings, according to Reuters, would offer 500 million euros to McLaren to replace Mercedes in the supply and enter the shareholding structure. Porsche, on the other hand, would join Red Bull, taking advantage of the new engine factory just built in Milton Keynes to manage the power units left by Honda.


To convince the Germans to take the plunge the decision to get rid of the MGU-H (the complicated heat recovery system produced by the turbine), leaving only the MGU-K, or the exploitation of kinetic energy from braking, by strengthening it. A choice dictated both by the containment of costs, which should be reduced by approximately 50%, and by the difficulty of transferring such technology to mass production. Ferrari and Mercedes would not have opposed each other, favoring the agreement that Stefano Domenicali has patiently built in recent years to encourage the entry of new “competitors”. And the entry of the Volkswagen group, in addition to representing a sign of countertrend after the now remote exit of BMW, Toyota and the recent one (although painless for now) of Honda, also constitutes a victory for the F1 boss who before becoming president of Lamborghini worked in Ingolstadt precisely on the prospects offered by the GPs.


It should not be forgotten that Porsche is developing a twin-turbo hybrid V8 with 500 kW (680 Hp) batteries to participate in the World Endurance Championship (the WEC) from 2023 and consequently resume the winning streak at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (stopped at 16 ) with an LMDh, already on the track at the end of January with a zebra livery to camouflage the shapes: the choice to bet on this type of car will also allow Porsche to participate in the 24 Hours of Daytona in the Imsa series, an essential showcase for the brand German in the American market.

test bench

The twin-turbo in question will therefore serve as a test bed for the development of the 1,600 cc 6-cylinder that will be used by the GPs, especially since it was designed to run on renewable fuels. In line with the philosophy of Formula 1 which aims to eliminate carbon emissions by 2030. Already this year the power units that have been frozen in Bahrain (and will be until 2025, except in three areas represented by batteries, electronic control unit and MG-K for which there will be time until September 1st) are powered from a fuel that has an eco-compatible percentage of 10 percent (compared to 5.75% last season).


On Thursday, as mentioned, there should be the go-ahead, according to sources from the British agency, which will then have to be translated into a resolution by the Volkswagen Group Board of Directors and subsequently by the boards of the two brands. But at that point it would be a formality.

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