Porsche refuses to reveal Silverstone WEC aero strategy

Porsche has yet to reveal which of the two aerodynamic packages allowed to LMP1 manufacturers in 2017 will run on its 919 Hybrids at the Silverstone WEC opener.

Porsche refuses to reveal Silverstone WEC aero strategy
Andre Lotterer, Porsche Team
#2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
Andre Lotterer, Porsche Team
Pipo Derani, Toyota Racing, Toyota TS050 Hybrid
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley

The German manufacturer is refusing to divulge whether it will go to the British event on April 16 with low-drag aero as part of its preparations for the Le Mans 24 Hours, or with high-downforce bodywork that would be more competitive around Silverstone.

Asked which of the two kits Porsche planned to run in the first round, LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl told Motorsport.com: "I will not tell you that – you will find out at Silverstone."

Rival Toyota, meanwhile, has stated that it will kick off the season with the high-downforce kit on its TS050 HYBRIDs.

Technical director Pascal Vasselon said that running Le Mans aero at Silverstone "would be a massive compromise because a pure low-downforce package would struggle".

Porsche's failure to reveal which of the two packages it will run suggests that it might have decided to focus development on Le Mans aero over the first leg of the WEC.

The specification of an aero kit is frozen for the remainder of the season after being homologated ahead of its first race.

That means Toyota will have no scope for development ahead of the second leg of the WEC made up entirely of Formula 1-style circuits demanding high downforce levels.

Porsche ran in Le Mans configuration at Silverstone in its first year back in topline sportscar racing in 2014, and used updated versions of the previous season's high-downforce kit at the first race in both ’15 and ’16.  

It subsequently introduced a new aero package for the Nurburgring race after the post-Le Mans summer break.  

The number of aero kits allowed each season has been reduced from three to two for 2017 for cost reasons, along with a limitation on the hours a manufacturer can spend in the windtunnel.

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