Porsche keeps new LMP1 engine program active... for F1?

Timo Bernhard (D),Earl Bamber (NZ), Brendon Hartley (NZ) win Le Mans with Porsche

Despite pulling the plug on its LMP1 WEC program, Porsche will continue to work on the development of a previously planned new engine.

The German manufacturer has set its sights on Formula E from 2019, but it has also shown interest in Formula 1's 2021 engine rules.

Porsche had initiated work on a new 6-cylinder engine destined to power its Hybrid sportscar when it decided to quit the World Endurance Championship.

However, the 30-strong engineering team devoted to developing the new power unit has remained active in Weissach, perhaps implying the work could serve as a basis for a future F1 engine.

"It was clear to us, if we continued in LMP1, we had to make a new engine and we had seen that our four-cylinder engine is reaching its limits," said Porsche LMP1 director Fritz Enzinger.

"We started with a six-cylinder engine in April and of course we want to finish it off. We'll do it, first of all as a single-cylinder engine as we do not have the order to develop a complete engine."

Enzinger added that F1 was not at the forefront of the team's agenda.

"We have no such mandate, you cannot say more about that for now."

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said the new engine project was primarily kept active for the benefit of its R&D road car division.

"I won't comment on Formula 1," said Blume,

"For now, we're concentrating on Formula E. At Porsche, we've always been well advised to focus on one thing, so as not to overstrain the company.

"We start by developing a single-cylinder engine to test combustion systems for our future [road] sportscars," he said.

"Whether or not it can be used in motorsport is a second pair of shoes, which is not up for discussion at the moment."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter