For the first time since 1991, Porsche and the Volkswagen Groupare considering entering a car into Formula 1.After a disastrous attempt in 1991, Porsche hasn’t participated in the sport since. But in1962, Porsche entered a constructor-made car, the 804, into Formula 1. The 804 brought about Porsche’s only win as a constructor in a championship race during the 1962 French Grand Prix. Since then, they have supplied engines for McLaren in the 80s to great success but have laid dormant since then.
Now Porsche is considering making a triumphant return to Formula 1. Their return is conditional.If Formula 1successfully commits to making e-fuels a central part of the sport by 2025, Porsche will return to the sport. Porsche is unlikely to return if the sport does not commit to its environmental promises by 2025 and 2030. By 2030, The wider sport has committed to achieving net-zero carbon status.
In 2025, F1 engines will focus on turbo-hybrid power engines. These will combine internal combustion engines with an electrical and regenerative element to a greater degree. The overall aim is to grow their proportion of total power output that’s created by electricity. Since 2014, these hybrid engines have been incredibly efficient, having a thermal-efficiency rating of 50%. In comparison, a typical petrol road engine is at 30%. It seems if anyone can do it, F1 can. This is good news for those who want to see Porsche return to the sport.
Porsche isrequiring this condition as they have partnered with Siemens Energy and many other international companies to develop and implement a project to create synthetic climate-neutral fuels (eFuels) in Chile. This is a world first and around 130,000 litres of eFuels will be produced by 2022. This is expected to increase to about 55 million litres a year by 2024 and they’re hoping for 550 million litres by 2026.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume stated, “Electromobility is a top priority at Porsche. eFuels for cars are a worthwhile complement to that – if they’re produced in parts of the world where a surplus of sustainable energy is available. They are an additional element on the road to decarbonisation.”
The focus on hybrid energy and eFuels is likely why Porsche feels confident to return to F1. It’s possible that they have completed plenty of research regarding the implementation of alternative fuels without sacrificing power. In the words of Blume, “We know exactly what fuel characteristics our engines need in order to operate with minimal impact on the climate.”
This is an absolute win for everyone involved. Formula 1 gain another entrant into the sport that they’ve been desperately hoping for. An entrant that can possibly compete with the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull, thus creating a more interesting competition. The climate benefits from reduced carbon into the atmosphere aren’t just good for the sport but good for everyone. Hopefully, these things come to fruition and audiences get to see what Porsche are made of in some of the best races in the world.