Porsche has today revealed plans for a factory-backed works team to compete in the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship starting in season six. As part of a new strategy and realignment of Porsche’s existing motorsport programme, the German manufacturer has committed to join Formula E from the 2019/20 season.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Porsche to the FIA Formula E Championship. If somebody told me when we started this project five years ago, that we’d be announcing a partnership with a brand like Porsche, I wouldn’t have believed it. To have a name like Porsche in Formula E, with all it represents in terms of racing and heritage – and in terms of sport cars – is an inflexion point in our quest to change the public perception about electric cars. The electric revolution continues, and Formula E remains the championship for that revolution.”
FIA President Jean Todt, added: “Porsche is a brand which has a fantastic history in motorsport, and its intention to join the FIA Formula E Championship alongside so many of the world’s biggest car manufacturers is very positive. It’s clear that the hard work done to create a relevant laboratory for developing electric vehicle technologies has been successful, and I look forward to seeing Formula E continue to be a place of great sporting competition as well as innovation. I’m very happy that Porsche is coming to Formula E, but I regret their decision to leave the World Endurance Championship.”
“Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E road car programme. The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us,” added Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “Porsche is working with alternative, innovative drive concepts. For us, Formula E is the ultimate competitive environment for driving forward the development of high-performance vehicles in areas such as environmental friendliness, efficiency and sustainability.”
Porsche joins an impressive list of manufacturers already involved in the series – including prestigious names like Mercedes-Benz, who also recently announced its intentions to enter the championship in the same season. With the introduction of both Porsche and Mercedes, season six would see the number of teams increase to 12.
STATEMENT FROM WEC
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, promoter of the WEC and organiser of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, regrets this precipitous departure, as it does the abruptness of the decision from one of endurance racing’s most successful and lauded manufacturers.
However, the ACO and the FIA, guardians of the existence and quality of the FIA World Endurance championship, have immediately set to work to put forward to everyone involved in endurance racing the outline of the 2018 season – a season which promises to be quite exceptional thanks to the introduction of new innovations.
Clearly, the reduction of costs and stability, but also inventiveness and audacity, will be vital in making it possible to stage an increasingly spectacular and attractive championship with the sport of endurance racing at the forefront.
Image: Richard Washbrooke Photography
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