The growing popularity of the Formula One racing competition will attract other manufacturers. Audi and Porsche will join the Formula One circuit in 2026, although BMW has been fairly silent on the matter. In an interview today, BMW M chief Frank Van Meel revealed that the Munich-based carmaker had no plans to enter Formula 1.
“We have no plans for Formula One,” Van Meel asserted emphatically. Instead, the company’s racing efforts are still focused on the future LMDh project. “It’s critical for us to get the [electrification] transformation narrative out there as soon as possible.” Formula One is currently debating the laws around electrification. So that was pretty evident to us. “Let’s go into that [electrification] market quicker,” Van Meel adds.
Concentrate on LMDh (GTP)
And LMDh provides an ideal chance to put BMW M’s road technology to the test in a racing environment. According to Van Meel, the LMDh automobiles will employ a form of the V8 plug-in hybrid engine recently launched by the BMW XM and anticipated to be used in the forthcoming BMW M5 G90. As a result, BMW Motorsport will concentrate on Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDh), also known as IMSA GTP.
BMW revealed intentions in June 2021 to create a Le Mans Daytona hybrid prototype and compete it beginning in 2023. Several months later, the president of the racing division said that the spiritual successor to the V12 LMR will not compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023. The good news is that we may see the LMDh machine in the endurance event the following year.
The year 2024 would be ideal for testing the LMDh prototype on France’s famed Circuit de la Sarthe. It would commemorate the 25th anniversary of the V12 LMR’s victory at Le Mans in 1999. BMW has been tight-lipped regarding the racing vehicle, although its hybrid powertrain will not exceed 500 kilowatts in order to comply with rules (670.5 horsepower). Toyota and Peugeot will employ V6 engines, whilst Porsche will use a V8 with two turbochargers. Audi might employ the bigger engine, while Lamborghini is expected to announce its LMDh participation for 2024 soon.
BMW is also renowned for continually analyzing its motorsport plans and is not afraid to terminate links swiftly if racing interests do not fit with business objectives and aims. So, if Formula 1 becomes more electrified in the future, it’s not a stretch to think that the M chief may reconsider the legendary racing series.