Porsche, Audi and Toyota in F1?

The Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) wishes! Well, FIA boss – Jean Todt – wishes. He hopes to persuade the three manufacturers to join the sport, using plans of heavy cost-cutting measures proposed for 2016 as bait. Todt believes that the FIA need to push for a 30% reduction in F1’s spending in order to save teams from leaving the grid. So, is this wishful thinking?

Panasonic Toyota Racing was the team most recently involved in F1. Never able to secure victory in a Grand Prix, the team only achieved its highest finish of 2nd place five times throughout its involvement in the sport. After much investment and lack of consistency, Toyota pulled the plug after 8 seasons. Why would they return now? It’s no secret that Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, is a huge fan of motorsport, sometimes taking the wheel himself in races. However, I can’t see them building a business case at this point. They have had quite a rough patch on the manufacturing side over the past few years and a return to F1 may not be the most feasible approach to taking the business back to where it once was.

Audi? Also not really a team I see in F1 in the coming years. Audi has dominated endurance and sports prototype racing in prestigious events like Le Mans and the GT World Championships. Their grip on that type of racing has forever cemented the Audi name with the legends of motorsport. They have said in the past that F1 is ‘irrelevant’ to the Audi brand, because it has ‘no relevance to the road’. A strong statement which isn’t entirely true; however, it would be a long shot to see them on the F1 grid by 2016 in my eyes.

And now on to Porsche? The Stuttgart manufacturer is the one that truly could benefit from F1. It’s no secret that Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen, has flirted with the idea of joining F1. If they can push the Porsche brand into the pinnacle of open-wheel racing, VW could have two of its companies dominating the world’s most prestigious championships. Is there a risk involved? Of course. However, I highly doubt Porsche would enter the sport without doing its homework, hiring the right individuals and competing at the highest level. Porsche is currently a master when it comes to GT racing, but it couldn’t hurt the Porsche name to be racing in F1 against the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.

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5 Comments on “Porsche, Audi and Toyota in F1?”

  1. Mathai Says:

    Would be interesting to see factory teams from Audi and Porsche battling it out on the tracks.

  2. Q8Stig Says:

    I would love to see more teams and more cars

  3. el wehbi Says:

    Factory teams have the advantage because they have the proper resources, budgets to spend on choosing the right drivers, testing capabilities, technology, etc. With the new proposed budget cuts, midfield teams might be able to catch up to the top-tier teams; however, I feel that factory teams will still excel.

    For me, Porsche’s addition to the sport would be great, although I sense they would be hesitant as anything other than success could hurt their brand image. The return of BMW would be great too!

  4. Mathai Says:

    What would be more interesting is to see if there will be any company politics involved in team budgets and testing for Porsche and Audi. who will be the favorite son of VW group? 😉

    • el wehbi Says:

      Definitely will be of interest; however, I believe those teams have clearly defined budgetary and incentive structures; probably set by their own organizations and not VW… for now at least.

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