Mercedes would welcome Porsche to F1 "sandpit" in 2021

Mercedes would welcome the potential arrival of Porsche to Formula 1 in 2021, should its fellow Stuttgart manufacturer finally make a commitment to return to the sport.

Mercedes would welcome Porsche to F1 "sandpit" in 2021
Toto Wolff, Executive Director (Business), Mercedes AMG, and Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO, Mercedes Benz
Porsche F1 livery concept
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Toto Wolff, Executive Director (Business), Mercedes AMG
Porsche F1 livery concept
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid with Porsche logo and drivers name
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Porsche F1 livery concept

Porsche has played a part in the discussions over the future F1 power unit regulations that have continued since the basic package was announced last October, in company with the four existing suppliers.

Thus far it has made no formal commitment to the FIA and Liberty.

However, it has indicated to Motorsport.com that it would only return as a partner of an existing team, rather than in its own right.

Red Bull and Williams have both been linked to a possible future deal, with the latter having enjoyed a technology partnership with Porsche in the past.

Wolff says that Mercedes would be happy to see its rival join Ferrari, Renault and Honda.

"The more we can fight, on our little playground – in the sandpit – the more we enjoy it," he told Sky F1.

"I guess that Porsche's interested, and looking at the environment, is not quite clear how. They are sitting on the table and giving their input."

Wolff also made it clear that discussions are still ongoing on the details of the 2021 power unit regulations, with some manufacturers keen to retain more technology and more differentiation, and fewer standard parts.

"They are not cast in stone, but I guess next week in the Strategy Group we are going to hear a little bit more.

"It's still not agreed between what's been in the table in the past sessions and all of the engine manufacturers. So there are quite some tough discussions ahead, I guess.

"For us it's important that the technology message is still there, in efficiency. Because efficiency equals performance is important when the whole world moves into green and electricity, and we, for historic nostalgia, move 20 years back.

"It's not something that we want to do. It needs to stay on a very high performance and efficiency level. It needs to be a different shade, and that is important for all us engine manufacturers, and not a standard part."

Looking at the bigger picture of the whole 2021 package, he said: "I think transparency and a clear path are important, we need to know what's happening in 2021, what the regs look like, on the power unit side and on the chassis side, in order to get things moving and avoid a cost escalation, a cost rush, at the last minute.

"I hope that with next week's meeting we have a little more understanding and input, and then we'll see how it ends up."

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