Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for LMP1:
In addition to setting up shop in Formula E for 2019, Porsche will put all of its eggs in the GTE basket as far as the WEC is concerned after this season, but will continue to compete in LMP1 until then. So what does this mean for the category?
Toyota planned to commit to LMP1 for as long as Porsche continues to contest it, but the 19-time outright winners’ impending withdrawal makes it even less likely. Thus, next season will likely lead to one of two scenarios:
If Toyota does not withdraw, and wins the race next year, it will be a hollow victory for them, even though they have waited decades for their first triumph by then. On the other hand, if Toyota follows Porsche and Audi out the door, saving millions of dollars’ worth of annual expenditure in the process, LMP1 will be the preserve of privateer teams. In that case, considering that they too have difficulties coping with the high costs of running an LMP1 car, it would actually make more sense for the FIA to axe the entire category for good, and make LMP2 the flagship category for the series.
A more detailed opinion on the fallout from this announcement can be found here:
If any of you also have anything to say on this matter, please let me know.