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Decoding Porsche’s F1 Transformation Canvas (2/3)

Navigating the Strategy Behind the Speed

Formula 1 is more than just the roar of engines and the rush of adrenaline. It’s a symphony of strategy, precision, and foresight. For those who missed our initial dive, you might want to first read our earlier article in this series, exploring the core reasons behind Porsche’s intrigue with F1. As we continue our journey, we set out to analyze Porsche’s potential journey in F1 through the lens of the Kainumai Business Transformation Canvas. We’ll reveal the considerations and strategic moves that might shape their foray into this elite motorsport.

1. Drivers : Why Change?

  • Internal Drivers: To enhance brand positioning and showcase Porsche’s innovation and engineering capabilities in a global arena.

  • External Drivers: The evolution of F1’s regulations favoring hybrid technologies and sustainable practices, making it align with Porsche’s long-term vision. Potential market growth in regions where F1 has a strong viewership.

Actionable Insights :

  • Benchmark Against Competitors: Assessing how other automakers are benefiting from F1 participation.

  • Consult Stakeholders: Engaging with loyal customers and fans to gauge their reception of Porsche’s potential F1 entry.

2. Expected Outcomes :

Enhanced Global Brand Visibility:

  • Formula 1 races span continents, exposing Porsche to a vast international audience. This not only expands their reach but also resonates with a demographic that values engineering, luxury, and performance.

Increased Sales Through F1 Association:

  • A strong presence in F1 can bolster Porsche’s brand affinity. Success on the track could influence consumer purchasing decisions and open new merchandise opportunities for an enthusiastic fanbase.

Technological Advancements from Race-to-Road:

  • F1 serves as a proving ground for automotive innovation, pushing boundaries in materials, aerodynamics, and powertrain tech. These advancements can trickle down to Porsche’s consumer lineup, enhancing performance and marketing narratives.

Reputation as an Innovator and Sustainable Leader:

  • With F1’s shift towards hybrid tech, Porsche has an opportunity to lead in sustainable racing innovations, further reinforcing their vision for a greener automotive future.

Actionable Insight :

  • Set KPIs: To track these outcomes, it’s essential to have measurable metrics, from brand engagement metrics during race weekends to monitoring tech transfer’s impact on their vehicles.

3. Impacted and Unchanged :

  • Impacted: Marketing strategy, R&D focus, resource allocation.

  • Unchanged: Core production of commercial cars, the overarching brand promise.

Actionable Insight :

  • Clear Communication Channels: Transparently convey to the organization about the new focus areas and how it aligns with Porsche’s vision.

4. Stop, Less, More, New :

  • Stop: Diverting substantial resources to less impactful marketing endeavors.

  • Less: Reliance on traditional automotive shows to showcase technology.

  • More: Investment in R&D for racing performance and sustainability.

  • New: A dedicated team for F1, partnerships with technical experts, and integration of motorsport innovations into commercial cars.

Actionable Insight :

  • Strategic Partnerships: Given that Porsche currently lacks the internal infrastructure for comprehensive Formula One car development, the company should actively seek strategic partnerships with established F1 teams. This would allow Porsche to focus primarily on engine design and leverage the operational expertise and facilities of their partner. This synergistic approach would not only optimize resource allocation but also accelerate their entry into the F1 arena, ensuring they harness the best of both worlds

5. Obstacles, Issues, and Risks :

  • Obstacles: High initial investment, fierce competition.

  • Issues: Balancing brand reputation with the unpredictable outcomes of racing.

  • Risks: Potentially not achieving great results, thus affecting brand perception. If the team doesn’t perform well, it might not boost Porsche’s reputation. In fact, it could even hurt it. This would mean they’ve spent a lot without getting the results they hoped for.

Actionable Insight :

  • Adopt Proactive Management: Collaborate with experienced professionals in F1 to navigate the complex motorsport world.

6. Costs and Benefits :

Costs :

Fielding an F1 team is not a minor financial venture. The baseline budget for running an F1 team annually hovers around $135 million. And this doesn’t even include the remunerations for the two pilots and the CEO, making the total expenditure even more significant.

Actionable Insight :

  1. Budget Breakdown: From the hefty $135 million annual budget, a significant slice is allocated to R&D, technological advancements, and maintaining the required state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Additionally, a contingency allowance for unexpected expenses and potential mid-season tech upgrades is also crucial.


Despite the steep initial costs, F1’s return on investment can be tantalizing. In 2022 alone, Formula 1 attracted a whopping total of $2.57 billion. While only two teams, Red Bull and Mercedes, managed to churn out direct profits from their racing endeavors – to the tune of about $10 million each – the indirect benefits are more elusive and potentially far-reaching.

Success in F1 can elevate a brand’s image, boosting vehicle sales and reinforcing brand loyalty. The vast global reach of F1 presents unparalleled marketing opportunities, potentially leading to increased sales and partnerships. Aligning with F1, a sport championing sustainability and innovation, enhances a brand’s reputation in the automotive sector.

Actionable Insight :

  • Holistic Financial Analysis: The direct profits from racing might seem relatively modest, especially when juxtaposed with the initial costs. However, the indirect benefits and the potential ripple effect on brand equity and sales make the venture more than justifiable. It’s pivotal for decision-makers to gauge both the direct and ancillary ROI when contemplating the leap into F1.

7. Review, Discuss, Update:

  • Review: Regularly assess the team’s performance, technological developments, and brand engagement.

  • Discuss: Engage with stakeholders to understand areas of improvement.

  • Update: Refine strategies based on feedback, market shifts, or F1 regulatory changes.

Strategic Choices: Porsche’s F1 Path and Audi’s Challenge.

Embarking on an F1 journey is not a mere decision; it’s a commitment to innovation, agility, and strategic excellence. As we’ve explored, Porsche’s potential F1 voyage is riddled with decisions that extend far beyond the racetrack. The stakes are high, and the rewards can be monumental. As we wrap up our exploration of the strategy behind Porsche’s F1 considerations, we anticipate the twists and turns the future holds. Yet, one question remains: With Audi making its mark in F1, what led to their green flag while Porsche held back? Join us in our next article as we delve deeper into this intriguing rivalry and the strategies that set them apart.


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