As Formula 1 and the FIA discuss the future of power units in the sport with the current manufacturers, it has been rumoured that several manufacturers are interested in joining the sport, with Porsche being a likely candidate.
With the most likely solution being a continuation of the current turbo hybrid power units, without the complex MGU-H element, Porsche have stated the conditions needed to join the sport are falling into place, however they cannot “wait too long” to make a final decision.
Allowances to help new manufacturers enter the sport competitively, such as an exemption from budget restrictions and development limits, are also being discussed however they have not been universally agreed to by the teams. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes exceptions should be made but must not go so far as to unfairly benefit newcomers.
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“I think it's great that we have strong OEMs that are showing an interest in coming to the sport,” he said. “Obviously, none of these major car companies wants to come in and face a situation that they are highly uncompetitive, and therefore we need to have systems in place that mitigate those very big risks.
“But, on the other side, F1 is the Champions’ League, and nobody can expect to enter the Champions' League for the first time and be straight into the final and go home with the big trophy.
“We've been there since a long time, we've invested lots of money, sweat and blood and terrible results in order to get us where we are.
“Look at Mercedes' history in the first three years of this being a works team. Look at the terrible Honda years that they faced, or the Renault days. All of us had to fight his way up to eventually win races and championships. So it's a fine balance that we need to get right to attract newcomers as power unit manufacturers.”
Wolff continued to criticise the decisions of other teams to depart from the sport without giving themselves the time to develop into a competitive entity.
“I think everybody recognises that you cannot just come and conquer, but you need to give it time,” he continued. “And that is what in the past many OEMs have just misunderstood.
“When you look at Toyota, Honda and BMW as near past experiences, all the money, all the resource is irrelevant if you don't give the project enough time.
“I think everybody who joins F1 as a team or as a power unit manufacturer needs to understand this. It needs time. And that makes the sport so attractive: that it is just not easy to win.”