Why Porsche Isn’t in Formula 1 – A Brief Look into Porsche History

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Posted: January 15, 2024

Updated: January 15, 2024

  • You’re in the right place if you want to know why Porsche isn’t in Formula 1
  • Since the 1950s, Porsche has been a successful racing team, but not in F1

You’re in the right place if you always wanted to know why Porsche isn’t in Formula 1. The brand has a rich and successful history in motorsport, participating in various racing disciplines and achieving significant success over the years. Since the 1950s, they have been successful as a team, but not in F1, though it has been a part of the competition for five years. If you’re interested in other F1 teams, read Mercedes’ success story in F1

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Porsche: Early Years

When you hear about Porsche, you probably think about luxury cars and the FIA World Endurance Championship, but not the main racing competition, a.k.a. F1. There’s a reason why Porsche isn’t in Formula 1, but to understand it, let’s dive deeper into its history in motorsport. 

Porsche began building their first racing prototypes in 1948, and three years later, the team has already been on the grid in the 24 Hours of Le Mans marathon. They managed to win it on the first try in their own class, making it the first-ever win for a German manufacturer in competitive racing. 

The company has won the overall title at Le Mans a record 19 times, making it one of the most successful manufacturers in the event’s history. Porsche’s first overall victory came in 1970, and they have continued to be a dominant force in endurance racing, where they dominate to this day, according to online sportsbooks in Germany.

In the 1980s, the 956 and its successor, the 962, were highly successful sports prototypes. They secured numerous victories, including several at Le Mans. The 956 and 962 are considered iconic race cars in motorsport history both because of results and liveries.

Porsche’s First Steps in Formula 1

While Porsche has not had a factory team in Formula 1 since the 1990s, the company has a history of performing and supplying engines to F1 teams. Porsche had its initial run between 1957 and 1962 as a works team but didn’t win a title. Their best result was a win at the French Grand Prix of 1962. Porsche finished the season in 3rd place a year prior to that, making it the most successful year in the team’s history.

why Porsche isn't in Formula 1
Picture Source: Flickr

The team closed its works team department in 1962 but continued to provide its 718 chassis to the Ecurie Maarsbergen team until they scrapped the team in 1964, which marked a complete pause for Porsche in Formula 1. 

It wasn’t until the 1980s when Porsche, after building incredibly successful turbo engines, decided that it was the right time to join F1 as an engine manufacturer. In 1983, they signed an agreement with McLaren, who wanted a new engine supplier for 1984 after a fiasco with Ford. A new collaboration was born – McLaren TAG-Porsche. It lasted until 1987, and during this time, McLaren Porsche won 3 Drivers’ Titles (Niki Lauda in 1984, and Alain Prost in 1985 and 1986), won 2 Constructors’ Titles in 1984 and 1985, 25 victories, 54 podium finishes, and seven pole positions. 

Although the collaboration was short-lived, it brought McLaren to stardom, as mentioned in the most interesting facts about McLaren. In 1991, Porsche had a half year of collaboration with Footwork, which turned out catastrophic – the team built a terrible chassis and did not score a single point.

Why Porsche Isn’t in Formula 1 

As you can see from its history, Porsche wasn’t a frequent guest in F1 and scrapped F1 programs several times. In the 1960s, they concluded that they couldn’t operate in both endurance racing and F1, so they chose whichever was more successful and profitable – the FIA World Endurance Championship. Furthermore, their 1960s 911 model was so successful in sales that a potential F1 program could just live from sales; nevertheless, they didn’t reopen the works team. 

why Porsche isn't in Formula 1
Picture Source: Needpix.com

In the 1980s, Porsche had immense success with McLaren, but when the team switched to Honda engines, no one wanted to work with Porsche. Hence, they focused on endurance races again, which they went on to win several times in the late 1980s. The 1991 attempt, as was noted earlier, was a complete disaster, so they did not even try to make another alliance. 

There were rumors that they would enter F1 in 2024-26 with Red Bull, but the alliance was not to be. It is unknown to this day why they could not come to an agreement, but you can bet on Porsche to come back at online gambling sites in Germany. However, the brand is doing great even without its F1 department – their newest prototype, 963, has been beating almost everyone in WEC.

Where is Porsche Today?

Porsche has a strong presence in GT racing, with the 911 GT3 and GT3 R models being widely used in various GT championships worldwide. The brand has succeeded in series such as the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the FIA World Endurance Championship, and the Nurburgring 24 Hours, leading their odds at 20BET

In recent years, Porsche competed in the top class of endurance racing with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. The car was part of the LMP1 category and achieved significant success in the World Endurance Championship, including multiple victories at Le Mans.

Porsche’s commitment to motorsports has contributed to its brand image and allowed the company to showcase technological advancements and innovations in the automotive industry. The motorsport success often translates into improved road car performance and reliability.

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