This week Porsche issued a short, and somewhat terse, statement confirming that talks between Stuttgart and the championship-leading F1 squad have fallen apart basically at the zero hour. This surprise news comes on the heels of at least a month of both companies essentially just signatures away from making the deal done. It’s hard to say exactly what happened in the breakdown of these discussions, but it seems that Red Bull wanted to retain total control of its operation, despite being willing to sell 50 percent. Porsche, one of the greatest motorsport engineering companies in history, rightly, didn’t want to be relegated to the sidelines within the Red Bull organization, and ultimately it was decided that it was best for all involved if they just walked away.
Below is Porsche’s statement in its entirety:
In the course of the last few months, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG and Red Bull GmbH have held talks on the possibility of Porsche’s entry into Formula 1. The two companies have now jointly come to the conclusion that these talks will no longer be continued. The premise was always that a partnership would be based on an equal footing, which would include not only an engine partnership but also the team. This could not be achieved. With the finalised rule changes, the racing series nevertheless remains an attractive environment for Porsche, which will continue to be monitored.
For a while it was looking like Porsche would be on the F1 grid, but its stablemate Audi wouldn’t. Following Audi’s decision to go its own way and partner with the Sauber organization once Alfa Romeo departs at the end of the 2023 season, and in light of these recent Red Bull shenanigans, the true face of F1 looks to be that Audi will get a bid to enter the grid and Porsche will not. With Sauber already spoken for, there aren’t many teams Porsche could partner with. It seems unlikely that the company would team up with one of its street car rivals in Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, or Alpine, and the Red Bull deal is over, so that leaves pretty much just back-of-the-grid Williams or Haas. Neither of those are particularly warm and fuzzy futures. I suppose with an injection of Porsche engineering and capital, those teams could turn around before the 2026 rule change, but still unlikely.