Porsche has announced itself as the latest manufacturer to join Formula E, ending its current LMP1 programme in the World Endurance Championship to focus on the electric racing series.
Porsche to drop LMP1 programme for 2019 Formula E entry
The German sports car manufacturer rejoined endurance racing in 2014 with the 919 Hybrid, and since then, has won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the last three years, as well as winning the World Endurance Championship twice in 2015 and 2016.
This announcement follows the news that Mercedes will also be joining Formula E, ditching its involvement in the DTM series. Like Mercedes, Porsche will also join the field in 2019 for its debut season.
Porsche’s new involvement will bring number of manufacturers involved in the sport to seven, with Renault, Audi, Jaguar, Citroen, BMW, and Mercedes involved in the series.
“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,” said Alejandro Agag, the founder and CEO of Formula E. “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.”
“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 Porsche board member, Michael Steiner. “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.”
With Porsche joining Formula E in 2019, it is a positive moment for the series and it will allow it to develop and become more and more popular. As more and more manufacturers are joining the series, it also clarifies that electric racing is the future of motorsport due to the growing popularity of electric car market.
On a downside however, manufacturers joining the series will result in the decline of other championships such as the WEC. Porsche’s departure from the World Endurance Championship leaves only one manufacturer in the sport in the form of Toyota, which could mean that the series will lose its world championship status due to the previous departure of Audi at the end of 2016 to focus on Formula E.