Porsche Won't Join Formula 1 Because Nobody Wanted to Sell Their Team

The Porsche 963 in the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona
The Porsche 963 in the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona

There is no hotter commodity in motorsport at the moment than a place in the Formula 1 paddock. Audi has found its way into the world championship by buying a stake in the existing Sauber team. Ford is returning to F1 through a partnership with Red Bull. Andretti and General Motors are struggling to enter a new team as the current field wants the Americans to pay $600 million for the privilege. Now, Porsche has given up on finding its way to F1.

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The Race reports that Porsche has decided to pause its evaluation of a potential Formula 1 program. The German manufacturer seemed to be on the verge of announcing its F1 return last year, but the deal collapsed. Porsche was in the final stages of partnering with Red Bull before the deal collapsed over ownership negotiations. Red Bull Racing did not want to sell any percentage of the team to Porsche, but it was a critical aspect of any agreement for Porsche. Red Bull eventually partnered with Ford and the Detroit automaker having no stake in the engine program.

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Porsche’s most significant obstacle to Formula 1 has been its own intentions. Porsche never intended to build a 2026 F1 power unit, eliminating entering a new team and limiting the number of existing teams suitable for acquisition. After the Red Bull deal collapsed and Audi entered with Sauber, Porsche had one last hope to reach F1 by 2026. It aimed to buy an existing team and reach an agreement to compete with the power unit of its sister Volkswagen Group company, rebadged as Porsche engines. However, Porsche just couldn’t find a team to buy.

Porsche is still interested in joining Formula 1 but won’t be able to by 2026. The 2026 F1 season is attractive for manufacturers because it will be the first under a new ruleset with synthetic carbon-neutral fuel. Instead, the German manufacturer will focus on its existing racing programs. Porsche’s factory team is currently leading the FIA Formula E World Championship, and the automaker has returned to the top class of endurance sports car racing with the Porsche 963.

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