As Porsche ends its Le Mans prototype racing program by the end of this year, it has committed to entering Formula E for the 2019-2020 season as a works team. A member of Porsche's board for finances, Lutz Meschke, said in an interview with Autosport that discussions about also becoming an F1 engine supplier are ongoing, as he met with Ross Brawn and other F1 executives at Monza. Porsche was last involved in Formula One all the way back in 1991, when it provided engines for the Footwork team; that was the name Arrows used from 1990 to 1996, thanks to backing from a Japanese logistics company. The 3512 engine (pictured) was shelved after only a year, as it proved underpowered and unsuccessful.
F1's Sean Bratches told Autosport that a wider portfolio of engine manufacturers and teams would be welcome in the sport. "Ultimately we're trying to create a platform and environment where more engine manufacturers and brands and teams come into this sport and make it a compelling business proposition to do so."
Bratches would see Porsche taking part in F1 as early as 2021. By then engine regulations would have changed to focus on engines that would be cheaper to manufacture and simpler to engineer, and Meschke says that would make F1 "one of the right places." To be able to race in F1, it would have to make financial sense. "And I think we are in quite good discussions regarding the new engine."
The powerplant in question would be a twin-turbo V6 with less complicated engineering. Given that the early-1990s F1 engine was largely two V6's joined together to make a 12, that sounds fitting.