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Porsche warns against “panic reactions” to boost LMP1 grid

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Porsche warns against “panic reactions” to boost LMP1 grid
By:
Nov 15, 2016, 1:02 PM

Porsche boss Andreas Seidl has warned against any “panic reactions” in a bid to boost the size of the LMP1 grid in the FIA WEC following Audi’s withdrawal.

#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal Porsche Team
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and #44 Manor Oreca 05 Nissan: Matthew Rao, Richard Bradley, Alex Lynn
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis

The impending exit of Audi after this weekend’s Bahrain race leaves only Porsche and Toyota – along with the one-car privateer ByKolles squad – engaged in top division of the championship for 2017.

This has led to calls in certain quarters for a rethink of the rules into order to attract more manufacturers, with Peugeot having indicated that a major reduction in costs combined with a shift in emphasis away from hybrid technology would be required to bring the French marque back.

However, Seidl believes that WEC organisers should not be making any drastic decisions simply for the sake of finding a replacement for Audi, highlighting the need for the series to remain relevant to production cars.

“Since the Audi pull-out we’ve had a good discussion with [WEC series boss] Gerard Neveu and [ACO President] Pierre Fillon, together with Toyota,” Seidl told Motorsport.com.

“I think it’s important not to do any panic decision or panic reactions. It’s important to have a structured way of discussing things, and I am sure there will be a good plan to ensure the championship stays as strong as it is now.

“For sure it’s important to us to show we can develop future road car technology, that’s one of the fundamental reasons we are in this business.

“We strongly believe in this platform and we don’t see that changing. This is why we are still fully committed to this championship.”

Seidl also insisted that the prospect of having only two manufacturers gunning for victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours is not something that especially worries him.

“It’s not ideal, especially if there are only four manufacturer cars [in the LMP1 class],” he said. “But again it doesn’t change anything in our commitment.

“We’ve seen in the past with Audi and Peugeot that you can have great battles [with only two manufacturers].”

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Series WEC
Teams Porsche Team Shop Now
Author Jamie Klein