Rumors grow as Porsche signs F1 people - (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 (GMM) Porsche has denied the very latest suggestions it might be gearing up for a formula one foray.
Exactly a year ago, the Volkswagen-linked carmaker denied that its sports car program - to feature Mark Webber at the wheel in 2014 - was a mere warm-up to F1.
Alongside grand prix winner Webber, who has been poached directly from F1's world champion team, Porsche has also been busily signing up F1 personnel including Fritz Enzinger, Alex Hitzinger, Mike Krack and Urs Kuratle.
The Weissach facility has also been set up as a world-class motor sport factory complete with wind tunnel.
Now, the correspondent for Auto Motor und Sport, Tobias Gruner, suggests that Porsche has managed to attract those high-caliber personnel "on the prospect of a formula one comeback" in the near future.
Porsche has consistently denied the regular speculation. A spokesman said this week that the marque is "fully committed" to its 2014 Le Mans project, as well as GT racing.
"There are no plans to enter formula one," the spokesman added.
However, a subtle hint may have been dropped in the latest edition of Porsche's employee magazine.
In it, an article says that because F1 is returning to a turbo era from 2014, Porsche engineers got in contact with Hans Mezger, who developed McLaren's title-winning TAG-Porsche engines in the 80s.
"This (magazine) article was surprising, to say the least," said Gruner.10/17/12 (GMM) Porsche has denied rumors it is preparing to enter formula one.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reported this week that while the VW brand is open about its Le Mans return plans, sports cars may merely be "a warm-up" for F1.
The magazine said Porsche is busily signing up personnel with F1 experience, including Fritz Enzinger, Alex Hitzinger, Mike Krack and recent Sauber engineer Urs Kuratle.
The well-known road car brand is also establishing its Weissach facility as a state of the art motor sport factory complete with wind tunnel, while the marque's drivers are reportedly having hours booked in the industry-leading McLaren simulator.
But Porsche motor sport spokesman Oliver Hilger said on Wednesday: "This is pure speculation. We have no ambitions for formula one.
"Our intention is to do Le Mans and the world sports car championship; nothing has changed," he told SID news agency.
Hilger also said nothing should be read into the fact that it has recently signed up staff with F1 experience.
"For our sporting ambitions we need new staff from the top of motor sport. And if you need good people, of course you have to look around also in formula one," he insisted.10/15/12 (GMM) There are rumors in the paddock that Porsche is considering a formula one foray, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
The VW-brand Porsche is returning to Le Mans, but the magazine said rumors are swirling that the project is merely "a warm-up" for F1.
Auto Motor und Sport said Porsche is busily signing-up personnel with F1 experience, including Fritz Enzinger, Alex Hitzinger, Mike Krack and recent Sauber engineer Urs Kuratle.
And the report said Porsche is also expressing interest in people from teams up and down pitlane.
Porsche is establishing its Weissach facility as a state of the art motor sport factory complete with wind tunnel, while the marque's drivers are reportedly having hours booked in the McLaren simulator.
"The formula one paddock wonders whether the expense is really intended only for Le Mans," said Auto Motor und Sport.