The badge returns to the top level of endurance after 50 years.
Ferrari is getting ready to make another heavy investment into motorsport with an imminent reveal of a new competitor for the upcoming Le Mans Hypercar discipline. Like the Ferrari SF90, this fully-fledged racecar is expected to take advantage of hybrid power, as per the new division's regulations. Ferrari's Attivita Sportive GT Antonello Coletta hinted that we could get our first look at this car by June.
Speaking to Autosport, Coletta revealed that the car is set to make its first appearance at the Fiorano test track where it will be subjected to its usual testing program before being set out into competition by 2023. Its first racing debut is expected to take place in next year's World Endurance Championship which includes the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Coletta says, "We will start [testing] with the new hypercar I hope in June, or July, and the new GT3 car on more or less the first day of April, and these activities will be very important to make a base for the future. We will start in our track in Fiorano - because it's tradition and takes minimum effort to open the doors, start the engine and go - I can just open my office window and watch!"
He adds that the new set of regulations detailed by the FIA allows the company to create "a great car". There's an understanding that with this, Ferrari will resume its place in the highest tier of global racing alongside Toyota and Peugeot. Audi, BMW, and Porsche have already decided to compete in the lower LMDh segment which is a successor to LMP2.
"When Ferrari chose to be involved in the top class, it just had to be in Le Mans Hypercar," Coletta says, "Ferrari has made all the cars in its history, so no choice really, this is our philosophy. I can say our project is going ahead very fast. It's very complicated, because the LMH is more complicated than the LMDh, but this is what we have chosen."
"When we compete in a category, it is normal that the car has to be all Ferrari, the entire project is under the control of our technical staff. It will be a good car, a fast car, a great car and - with all the cars involved in this category - I believe the styling will be very different between them.
"I think it's important for the fans to understand very easily what is a Ferrari, this is a Peugeot, this is a Toyota… In the past, it was difficult to understand the differences between such similar cars. For us, the most important anniversary for us is that 2023 is 50 years since we last raced in prototypes, the best and most important category."
While this announcement was exciting, there are not many details regarding the upcoming race car. Coletta was not keen on diving into any more than the fact that it will use an all-wheel-drive platform because the division does not want its competitors to gain any advantageous knowledge.
"It's normal that Toyota will be strong because they will have been in this category for two years before we have our first race. I prefer not to discuss any technical details outside of the factory.
"We hope to work very well in the second half of the 2022 season, when we start with the tests. It's normal that with eight or nine brands in this category across WEC and IMSA and in Le Mans altogether, the efforts needed will have to be very, very consistent.
"But I think it's important for us to go ahead in a competition that is so strong with so many manufacturers competing together for the first time in the top class. It will be an important occasion for the endurance world." He ends.
Ferrari's return to the top tier of the WEC was first hinted at just under a year ago with the promise that the car would be ready by 2023. Executive chairman John Elkann expressed confidence regarding the new program and assured that it would be a major step in allowing the brand to assert its commitment to motorsport.
The last update was provided in June last year which detailed the division's progress and announced its partnership with AF Corse. This partnership has already afforded Ferrari a number of wins in the WEC GT divisions, including three victories at Le Mans and five constructors championships.