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Porsche could be set to enter F1 as an engine supplier

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Porsche is not denying that a “high-performance, high-efficiency engine” already under development could become the basis of a F1 project.

The German sports car maker shocked the world of motor sport recently by announcing that it is leaving the top Le Mans category LMP1.

However, Porsche’s entire Le Mans team is being kept together, ramping up speculation that after a move into Formula E, the next step could be F1.

The German marque had been rumored to be considering entering F1 as an engine supplier alongside its Formula E commitments, with Porsche’s research and development chief Michael Steiner responding to the speculation.

“Like other manufacturers, we participate in discussions on the future Formula 1 powertrain at the invitation of the FIA,” Steiner told Auto Motor und Sport.

“At the moment, the team in Weissach is not working on an F1 engine, but it is working on a high-performance, high-efficiency engine, specifically at the design level.

“So far, we have not decided what we will do with this engine, or in other words whether we will use it in series production or in motorsport. If the LMP1 programme had continued, we would have worked on efficient high-performance engines, and we are now pushing ahead with this development.

“The development contract with the engineers will run for the next 18 months.”

When asked directly if Porsche would be entering F1 in 2021, Steiner said: “I am not working on that assumption, but there is no statement to be made about this.”

A return for Cosworth?

Cosworth’s illustration at the Working Group has accelerated rumours of a return to F1 for the historically productive manufacturer. Cosworth’s last competed in F1 with Marussia in 2013 and CEO Hal Reisiger told Autosport that the company is optimistic regarding a return.

“We think we are well suited to come back into F1 if the engine regulations should change, and the compelling change has to be with the heat energy recovery [from the turbo] because that is the most expensive and time-consuming element,” he said.

“If F1 wants a new engine supplier for 2021 there will have to be some changes on that front. We would typically start in 2018 [for a 2021 comeback]. I know there is some discussion about moving it ahead by a year, and that would mean working really soon.”

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