NOVEMBER 12, 2021
Mercedes opens door for Porsche to enter F1
Mercedes is willing to make concessions in order to open the door for Porsche to enter Formula 1 in 2026.
In the past days, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said that although Volkswagen and its brands are welcome in F1, his eagerness to agree to rule changes to specifically level the playing field for 2026 is limited.
But it seems to be a different story at Mercedes.
When asked by Bild newspaper how much regulatory advantage Mercedes is willing to give up in order to open the door for fellow German competitor Porsche, Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius gave a surprising answer.
"Normally I would say 'I have an advantage, so I want to keep the advantage'. But in this case you have to think bigger," he said.
"We are talking about the new regulations, where there will be a significant simplification of the components for the combustion engine. To do this, we are increasing the performance on the electrical side.
"Should a manufacturer like Porsche want to enter Formula 1 under these conditions, we would very much welcome that in the interests of the sport," Kallenius added.
As for the intense 2021 title battle between Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, Kallenius admitted clawing back the Red Bull driver's 19-point advantage will be "tough" for the seven time world champion.
"But as a racer, you fight until the last race," he said.
"And one thing is for sure - the duel between Lewis and Max is the best show we've seen in years."