Ferrari evaluating IndyCar


At a time the sport is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first race to form part of the Formula One World Championship, it's worth remembering that over the course of those 70 years Ferrari has only missed 16 races.

Ironically, the Italian team missed the very first F1 race at Silverstone, but was there in Monaco two weeks later.

While those 16 no-shows were down to a variety of reasons including strikes in Italy, more often than not the Italian team was flexing its muscles, a trait that continues to this day.

At a time the Maranello outfit is making no secret of its unhappiness with the planned budget cap, it comes as no surprise to learn that it is looking at other series.

Speaking to Sky Sports Italia, Mattia Binotto claims that the company is interested in IndyCar. However, having previously appeared to suggest that it is considering leaving F1 (again) and then stating that it had been misquoted, Binotto suggests Ferrari is looking at additional forms of racing as means of keeping staff who would otherwise lose their jobs were the $145m budget cap to be imposed.

"Ferrari feels a lot of social responsibility towards its employees," he said. "We want to make sure that there will be a workspace in the future.

"For this reason we have started to evaluate alternative programs," he continued, "and I can confirm that we are looking at IndyCar, which is currently a very different category from ours, but will be more aligned with a change of regulation scheduled in 2022.

"We also observe the world of endurance racing and other series," he added. "We will try to make the best choice."

Back in the day, Enzo Ferrari contested F1 in order to finance his endurance racing programme, though in the mid-80s, during a dispute with F1 bosses over proposed new engine rules, he oversaw the 637 programme, car designed for CART which was tested but never raced.

Recently, with an eye on 2022, when IndyCar introduces hybrid ebngines, 1978 world champion, Mario Andretti, who raced in F1 and Sports Car for Ferrari, said he would love to see the Italian manufacturer enter the sport as a chassis constructor and engine supplier.

"The budget cap has been implemented already for 2021 with a view for $175m and we want to reduce it even further, facing this pandemic, and the economic crisis, so we have to reduce that to keep that low. We are about to reach an agreement to $145m," said Binotto.

"F1 has always had rules and regulations, such as any other sport, they are limits, we set, and the best team is the team that within the limits creates the best performing product.

"This new rule is something we have to fulfil, within limits and boundaries, and we need to do our best. It won't limit technology and innovation, it's up to us to do our best."

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Published: 15/05/2020
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