Towards the end of 2019 the Volkswagen Group (VAG) announced that they were pulling out of all forms of internal combustion motorsport categories, and instead would concentrate on electric forms of motorsport.
At the time Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets said, "Electric mobility offers enormous development potential, and in this regard motorsport can be a trailblazer: on the one hand, it serves as a dynamic laboratory for the development of future production cars and, on the other, as a convincing marketing platform to inspire people even more towards electric mobility."
While not quite a complete u-turn, this week on the BBC the vice president of Porsche Motorsport — a VAG subsidiary — said the company would 'consider' entering Formula One.
"It would be of great interest if aspects of sustainability — for instance, the implementation of e-fuels — play a role in this," said Fritz Enzinger.
"Should these aspects be confirmed, we will evaluate them in detail within the VW Group and discuss further steps."
What may have piqued the German manufacturers' interest is that in 2025 F1 are looking to radically change the rules around the power unit and are wanting a more sustainable bent to the engines.
A full-blown electric F1 series isn't probably on the cards, as Formula E covers that particular category, and it will be the Porsche brand that will be plastered on the side of the car, if a decision is confirmed.
What is attracting VAG and by default Porsche though, is that F1 is committed to making E-fuels a focal point of the championship from 2025. These fuels are carbon-neutral power internal combustion engines without the environmental impact of traditional fossil fuels.
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There are different types including bio-fuels, which are made from bio-mass, and synthetic fuels, which are manufactured by an industrial process that captures carbon from the atmosphere.
Porsche has been involved in the discussion with F1 around the new engine rules.
"Porsche and Volkswagen AG are observing the constantly changing regulations in all relevant racing series around the world. This is also the case with regard to the emerging new engine and drivetrain regulation for Formula 1 from 2025," said Enzinger.
If it is indeed the Porsche brand that gets involved (Audi could be an option) it won't be the first time the marque has dipped its toe into F1. Despite Ferdinand Porsche designing Grand Prix cars for Auto Union and Mercedes in the 1920s and 30s, it wasn't until the 1960s they entered as a manufacturer, winning the French Grand Prix with Dan Gurney, but pulled out due to the high cost.
Porsche returned to F1 in 1983 with engines branded as TAG with the McLaren team winning a world title first with Niki Lauda in 1984 and again with Alain Prost in 1985 and '86.
Porsche pulled out again only to rejoin again in 1991 as an engine supplier to the Footwork Arrows outfit. However, it all ended in tears where the car failed to qualify for half the races, and so were binned in favour of Cosworth engines.
There was some chatter in later years where both Porsche and Volkswagen were linked with Red Bull as a replacement for Renault. However, it wasn't to be.
If Porsche were to join F1 it's anyone's guess where they might end up. It could well still be Red Bull as most of the other teams in the championship have either new or established relationships with other engine manufacturer, or are a manufacturer team themselves.