For several months Porsche has cradled the dream of being able to enter Formula 1 starting from 2026, but now it seems that the project – initially very ambitious – has deflated month after month, until it reaches its terminus.
According to what our colleagues at Motorsport-Total.com have learned, the Stuttgart carmaker has decided to put aside its efforts to enter the top open-wheel series of motorsport.
Since Fritz Enzinger’s retirement in December last year – Enzinger was considered the driving force behind the Porsche Formula 1 project – the Circus world champion has faded more and more into the background.
As of September 2022, following the breakdown of negotiations with Red Bull, Porsche’s official line was that F1 would remain an attractive series and would still be monitored by the German company itself.
Since then, a series of rumors have followed involving Williams, even Andretti, not to mention a possible Weissach-branded adventure to be able to occupy one of the two places on the grid made available to the FIA. These, however, have found no basis and after the agreement between Porsche and Red Bull, the German manufacturer’s program has weakened.
“Motorsport will always be at the heart of our brand identity. Formula 1 remains an interesting series for us.” But “for the next few years”, the company will focus on racing in the WEC and IMSA, as well as the Formula E world championship. “There we want to fight for the Formula E world championship win.” “We want to fight for overall victories. It’s our tradition and our main goal.”
These statements from Porsche make it clear that Formula 1 certainly remains an intriguing category, a series that the House could still consider. But then here is the phrase linked to Formula E, which seems to have returned to the center of Porsche’s attention. And it is precisely this that seems to reveal having shelved the ambitions of an entry into Formula 1.
And the latter is the most accredited road for Porsche. According to information collected by Motorsport.com all the people who under the leadership of Fritz Enzinger were in charge of carrying out the preparations for Porsche’s entry into Formula 1 were subsequently reassigned to other tasks within the group. This clarifies how, over the next few years, Porsche will hardly take part in the Formula 1 World Championship.
If Formula 1 is currently a closed chapter for Porsche, the possibility of collaborating with one of the brands that take part in the world champion Circus is not. This is McLaren Automotive.
The section dedicated to the product of the House of Woking has recently pinned Michael Leiters as the new managing director. This is the former chief technology officer of Ferrari, but who also held a role at Porsche for 13 years (working, moreover, on the Cayenne project).
The idea of acquiring a stake in McLaren, using the magic of the Porsche and McLaren brands to develop joint special editions and an SUV, appealed to some of those involved, but was ultimately rejected. The Formula 1 stable would not have been at the heart of such an arrangement anyway, but obviously it would have fitted well into the concept.
In the meantime, these contacts have also cooled off and Porsche’s attempts to enter Formula 1 are definitively frozen. As a result, Audi remains the only Volkswagen Group brand competing in 2026. The Ingolstadt-based company already holds a 25 percent stake in the Sauber team and will act as Audi’s factory team in 2026.
Among other things, before Audi reached an agreement with Sauber, there were also serious talks between Audi and McLaren for the acquisition of shares in the team. At that time, the negotiation had been initiated by Gerhard Berger. He confirmed in August 2022, when asked by “Motorsport-Total.com”: “I have established contact with McLaren”.
The Bahraini royal family, which holds a stake in the McLaren Group through sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, put Berger “in contact so that the two could talk”. Because McLaren would have been a candidate as Audi’s partner in Formula 1″. In the end, however, even these months-long talks did not come to a conclusion.
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