With its parent company, the Volkswagen Group , keen to bring two of its brands into Formula 1 by 2026, it looked like Porsche would end up teaming up with Red Bull and Audi with Sauber. However, despite the fact that the talks between the Stuttgart and Milton Keynes were at an advanced stage of negotiations, and even went so far as to ask the authorities for permission for the agreement to go ahead, things grew apart after the summer break.
Red Bull feared that the independence that had been one of its main strengths in Formula 1 for years could be compromised if Porsche became a shareholder in the team. Following the end of negotiations, the Austrians’ boss, Christian Horner , made it clear that there were key differences in approach: “Porsche is a great brand, but the DNA is quite different.”
“During the discussion process it became clear that there was no strategic partnership. Red Bull has shown what it is capable of in Formula 1, and as an independent team, and now an engine manufacturer, we hope to go racing against the OEMs [manufacturers]. ] with the powertrain as well as the chassis,” explained the Briton.
The collapse of the partnership with Red Bull, just a week after Audi confirmed its entry into the Grand Circus, seemed to leave Porsche with little chance of finding a way back. However, in September they indicated that they kept an open door for the future, but they did not indicate what it was like.
“The premise was always that a partnership would be based on equality, which would include not only a commitment to engines, but also to the team,” they said in a statement. “That hasn’t been possible [with Red Bull].”
“With the regulation changes finalized, the category continues to be an attraction for Porsche, which will continue to supervise,” they explained from the German brand that has the seal of the Volkswagen Group.
However, it appears that Porsche has been actively looking for options, with the FIA suggesting they are holding talks with a number of Formula 1 teams. In a memo the governing body sent out after the World Motor Sport Council meeting on Wednesday regarding to the 2026 powertrain regulations, it was stated: “At Spa-Francorchamps in August, Audi announced that it would join the FIA Formula 1 World Championship from 2026 as a power unit manufacturer.”
It has not been indicated which team the international federation is referring to, but the obvious candidates would be Williams or even the potential new member, Andretti , who are seeking to enter the category, but have faced resistance from their rivals because they see the distribution threatened. of awards with an eleventh set. However, the arrival of a manufacturer like Porsche could convince skeptics that it would be beneficial for Americans.
Williams has a contract with Mercedes until the end of 2025, but his options are open once it ends. He has been linked with Renault, which is looking for a customer, but a joint venture with Stuttgart will be very interesting at Grove.
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