Porsche built engine for possible F1 2021 entry

Porsche has built and tested an engine that would have been Formula 1 compatible and formed the basis of a 2021 entry had it committed to joining the world championship.

Porsche built engine for possible F1 2021 entry

The German manufacturer was known to be considering an F1 programme, its first for almost three decades, as it joined the process establishing new engine rules for 2021 and beyond.

Read Also:

However, Porsche's F1 prospects ended when the parent Volkswagen Audi Group opted to cancel its World Endurance Championship/LMP1 project in favour of a Formula E entry, and the prospect of simplified and cheaper F1 engines stalled.

Porsche's head of motorsport Fritz Enzinger told Motorsport.com that prior to its exit from LMP1 – which it had dominated with a two-litre, four-cylinder engine – Porsche had started work on a six-cylinder engine that was F1 compatible.

"In 2017 there were signals from Formula 1 that the regulations were to be changed and that energy recovery from the exhaust gases [the MGU-H] was no longer required," he said.

"As of 2017, Porsche was a member of the FIA Manufacturers Commission and was involved in the discussions about the future drive strategy in Formula 1 from 2021 and represented at the meetings.

"On the one hand we took part in these working groups. On the other hand the guys developed a six-cylinder for the WEC in parallel. Of course, we thought about what would have to change if the engine were to be used in Formula 1. Such things can be done in two ways."

Porsche had a 40-person team from its LMP1 project to develop the six-cylinder engine.

In 2017 it became clear this would not be used for a WEC programme because Porsche committed to leaving that championship once the rules shifted and the series failed to find a replacement for Porsche's sister brand Audi.

Though a move to FE, where Audi was also present, was an "obvious idea", Enzinger said the six-cylinder engine concept was still pursued because an F1 engine without the MGU-H would "also be interesting for a super sports car".

"At the end of 2017, we received a concrete order from our parent company to further develop a highly efficient six-cylinder engine, despite its LMP1 withdrawal," he said.

"Not only on paper, but actually as hardware and with the idea that this engine will be put to the test in 2019. That was the order from the board to us."

Porsche has not competed in F1 since its failed engine programme in 1991 with the Footwork team.

Enzinger said its six-cylinder engine "is complete and running on the test bench" as a team of "20 to 25 technicians" use it "for analyses and further orders with regard to series relevance".

"The possible use for this six-cylinder engine was completely open," he said. "If it had been decided to send Porsche 2021 to Formula 1, we would have made it the way we did in 2018."

Alex Caffi, Footwork FA12 Porsche

Alex Caffi, Footwork FA12 Porsche

Photo by: LAT Images

shares
comments
Debate: Should Monaco corner-cutting approach be changed?

Previous article

Debate: Should Monaco corner-cutting approach be changed?

Next article

Barcelona calls for "urgent" government help to save F1 race

Barcelona calls for "urgent" government help to save F1 race
Load comments
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021