Ferrari Might Reconsider Quitting Formula 1 For Le Mans Entry

Ferrari LaFerrari prototype spied in 2014 with massive aero elements 5 photos
Photo: Stefan Baldauf/SB-Medien
Ferrari Le Mans LMP1 muleFerrari Le Mans LMP1 muleFerrari Le Mans LMP1 muleFerrari Le Mans LMP1 mule
Ferrari’s 2016 season in Formula 1 was not the best for the Italian team, and this has stirred up some old rumors regarding the possibility of quitting F1.
The Italian brand is currently third in the constructor’s championship, a position that is not what Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, desired from the Scuderia. Ferrari’s 2016 F1 season was considered a failure by many analysts, and Marchionne seems to agree, as the focus was pushed towards 2017.

With only four races to go, its shot at the title is lost, so the Scuderia from Maranello will have to cut its losses short and prepare for next year. Evidently, Ferrari will not forfeit the upcoming races, but it is clear that they cannot win the title this season.

Fortunately for motorsport fans, Ferrari is still in the cards for second place, so its drivers will have something to fight for if they cannot get the title for their category either. Mr. Kimi Raikkonen is fourth in the driver’s standings, while his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, is ranked sixth with four races to go.

With a subpar season from the Maranello team, rumors have emerged that Sergio Marchionne is not happy about the team’s progress. Known for not being afraid to risk, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is said to consider a possible Ferrari entry in the top class of the World Endurance Championship, which is known as LMP1.

The same class gave us the captivating battle between Toyota and Porsche that took place at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. While the Japanese team lost the race in the final moments because of a technical failure, everyone talked about the legendary battle between the two teams.

Ferrari’s potential LMP1 entry instead of continuing to race in Formula 1 would not happen earlier than the 2018 or 2019 season, since the company has invested in the development of next season’s car, and it would be unlikely to quit in 2018 as well.

Ferrari has threatened to leave Formula 1 before, but this year brings the departure of the James Allison, the technical chief of the team, which happened because of personal reasons. Meanwhile, Sergio Marchionne is in charge of Ferrari these days, so drastic changes could occur if the company’s strategic advisors will consider this historic departure to be favorable for the enterprise.

We would not bet on Ferrari leaving F1 too soon, but the brand’s executives will probably discuss this possibility after the completion of the 2016 Formula 1 season.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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