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Porsche more likely to tackle Le Mans than F1

ESPNF1 Staff
January 20, 2011 « Renault hopes 'brave' car design pays off | »
Porsche has a more history in Le Mans than Formula One © Sutton Images

Porsche has played down rumours it is preparing for a 2013 entry into Formula One, saying it is more likely to tackle Le Mans.

Late last year, CEO Matthias Mueller said there are some "drawbacks" to entering F1 that are not present in other prominent series. But then the FIA green-lighted new 1.6 litre turbo engine rules for 2013, leading Volkswagen representative Hans-Joachim Stuck to say the "conditions for a possible [F1] entrance of the ... group have been created".

Porsche is a member of the VW Group, but Mueller believes that the underlying risks and costs of an F1 entry mean that it is often talked about but unlikely to be followed through.

"There are undoubtedly some attractive aspects," he told the Swiss car newspaper Automobil Revue. "But there are other sides to it as well. Formula One is very expensive, while success is far less predictable [than in other series]."

At the Detroit motorshow earlier this month Porsche unveiled its new 918 RSR racing car, a showcase of its motor racing technology. Although the 918 RSR is not eligible for any current racing series, its name, blue and orange paint work and No. 22 on the bonnet all draw parallels with the 1971 Porsche 917K, one of which won at Le Mans 40 years ago.

The Porsche 918 RSR debuted at Detroit early this month © Porsche
Mueller admitted that a Le Mans project is far more likely than F1: "We would not necessarily have to line up against Audi, but we would do it if we need to and it would mean there are two of the [VW] group's brands fighting in the races. The likelihood that the group wins would therefore obviously be increased."

He urged all the VW brands to get together to "agree on a motorsport strategy for the coming years".