Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that he hopes big brands like Porsche will eventually be able to break into Formula One in spite of the German manufacturer’s decision to withdraw from talks with Red Bull over a possible future collaboration. The sport’s explosion in popularity over the last few years has led to several high-profile companies taking an interest in joining the grid, with Audi set to be involved for the very first time as engine providers in 2026.
Porsche were also keen on striking a deal with Red Bull to supply their power units before talks broke down earlier this month, with both parties failing to reach an agreement after a lengthy period of negotiations. Wolff has since weighed in by insisting that the interest of large brands in joining F1 can only be a good thing for the sport as it looks to capitalise on its unprecedented growth in recent years.
“Every large corporation, especially auto companies, not only auto companies, because Red Bull is also pretty good at that, they not only buy the racing team and invest large amounts of money into running it but invest even more into activation, which is beneficial for Formula One,” said Wolff as reported by GiveMeSport.
“If a brand like Porsche that is known all over the world puts their marketing dollars into activating Formula One, we will all be benefitting. This is the important part. It’s not just about having the team and running it.
“In all the markets [there would be] big advertising, big campaigns, putting the brand out there. That is why having these big brands in Formula One is important.”
Porsche and Red Bull had been for some time about a potential agreement that would have seen the German brand involved in producing the team’s power units from 2026 onwards. It has been reported that negotiations ultimately failed because Porsche were demanding a stake in Red Bull Technologies that would have given them a say in the wider direction of the Milton Keynes-based team, who were unwilling to give up control.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner opened up on Porsche’s stance on the matter at the Italian Grand Prix by insisting that his organisation were simply not prepared to surrender any level of decision-making power to an external third party.
“It was felt that the fit just isn’t quite right for where we’re going and the journey we’re on,” Horner told reporters at Monza when quizzed on why Red Bull’s talks with Porsche broke down.
“We are a race team fundamentally and that enables us to make quick decisions and react very quickly. I think we’ve seen on so many occasions that manufacturers have been less autonomous in their decision-making.
“That was a key aspect of protecting what we have and how we operate, which has proved to be reasonably successful.”