For those racing fans in the formula one community, the news of the failure of negotiations between Red Bull Racing and Porsche in a way, was not surprising. The contract, if it would have been successful, would begin in 2026, with the Stuttgart-based company supplying the engines for the Austrian unit.
But there was also a catch: the German car maker wanted half of the company control, something that Red Bull would not accept, and with that, the deal fell through. Another German car manufacturer, Audi, who is headquartered in the rival state of Bavaria in Ingolstadt, has accepted their roll in formula one from 2026, with the rumor that they will take over the Swiss Sauber unit. This was something that another German car giant BMW, could only do for a short time before switching to the less-expensive DTM series.
So, what does Porsche do now? The company has very many success stories to tell in sportscar and in endurance racing, but F1 is the only thing that Porsche can really move up with. But if Red Bull Racing has failed, what about trying to make an engine deal with Andretti, or even in the future with Penske?
These of course are American-based teams, but with Andretti, as in the case with the failed negotiations with Sauber a year ago, Andretti would want full control of the team, and with Porsche, it could mean a 50-50 offer if Andretti were able to have Porsche supply the engines. Andretti themselves, known officially as Andretti Global F1, are still waiting the approval (or so far, the disapproval) of the F.I.A. who are the only group that can give the final nod to the team appearing as the 11th team. The only loser in this deal if it was going to happen would be Renault, who would supply Andretti the engines, if the current deal were to go ahead. It would be another loss for the French company, first with Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri and finally a cancelled engine deal.
Andretti Global, regardless of the final decision, is still moving on to build a new factory in the U.S. state of Indiana, in the town of Fishers, close to Indianapolis. So far, the negotiations have not happened between Porsche and Andretti, and they may never occur. However, why would Penske ever be brought into a deal?
Considering both Mario and Michael Andretti have been drivers in formula 1, Penske in the 1970’s had a team in F1, with the late Mark Donohue at the wheel until his fatal accident at the Osserreichring in 1975. But only a year later, Northern Irishman John Watson gave the American team their first and only victory at the same circuit, which should have given Penske a huge boost in the sport, but the company had more success in IndyCar, and with too much money lost, Penske decided to abandon the F1 program and continue in the United States.
What does this have to do with Porsche? Next season, Penske will run a Porsche driven car in the Hypercar division of the World Endurance Championship. If it becomes successful, there might be a chance like so many others, to move up to the elite competition of formula one and this could finally give Porsche the chance to enter F1 with a team they can divide their money with, especially if it can begin in 2026. And this would create a rivalry with their German counterpart from Audi.
But if this can never be achieved, there is the option of supplying teams like Williams Racing or McLaren. However, this would be on the same terms as what they tried to do with Red Bull, which might make things just as tough as it already has occurred.
The future of Porsche being in formula 1 will be a mystery until a deal can be met with a separate team entering the sport, or an existing one.
By Mark Gero