Ferrari and 24H Le Mans – Hypercar or LMDh? Or…?

 
On January 1, 2021, we are not going to tell you that Ferrari will be at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 in the new Le Mans Hypercar category. We can just tell you that it is working on Maranello’s side to finally come and fight for the overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. So Hypercar or LMDh? The last victory of the Italian brand dates back to 1965 with Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt. Of course, there have been many successes in GTE in recent years but not for scratching. F40 and 333 SP did not shine on Sarthe soil.
 
Two options are possible: Hypercar which would mean no program in the United States or LMDh on a chassis which would not be Ferrari badged but which would allow driving on both sides of the Atlantic at a lower cost. If the GTE category were to disappear by 2024, it is difficult to see Ferrari staying out of the way. You are going to tell us that it has been a decade since we told you that Ferrari will arrive in the premier class and you …
On June 13, 2009, Luca di Montezemolo, boss of Ferrari, gave the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans where no less than ten Ferrari 430s were entered. Stefano Domenicali, then at the head of Ferrari F1, was also there. Even Fernando Alonso, who was going to drive for Ferrari in 2010, had to make the trip. “Formula 1 remains the priority,” Luca di Montezemolo was content to say.
 
We had to wait until 2012 to see in our columns a possible arrival of Ferrari at Le Mans. On 25 May 2012, James Glickenhaus announced that he would see his P4 / 5, from a Ferrari 430 GT2, on the Le Mans track. James Glickenhaus still wanted to clarify things: “If we can find the necessary partners to finance the project, it will come to an end. One thing is certain, this is a completely private initiative. Ferrari is not involved in the program at all. On the other hand, it is not excluded that another manufacturer is in the game. »To see Ferrari in the category…
 
A few days before Christmas 2013, the subject comes back to the table during the end of season dinner in Maranello, again via Luca di Montezemolo: “Pursuing the development in GT of technology transfer to road cars has always been an integral part of our activity. . We won with the 458 GTE, but I also like the idea of ​​racing at Le Mans in the top category: who knows, maybe one day we can come back and win, say thank you and come home . Perhaps we should take this option seriously. “
 
The Ferrari boss clarified his remarks at the same time: “Even though the 24 Hours of Le Mans is an exciting challenge, it is not an immediate objective for us. Maybe we can talk about it again in three or four years. »An article in the German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport indicated a possible arrival of Ferrari in LMP1 in 2015. Still missed …
In June 2014, Fernando Alonso was given the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. What revive the craziest rumors. On June 4, 2014, Endurance-Info published an article indicating Ferrari’s interest in the premier class due to the technological interest of LMP1 and the reduction in staff in Formula 1. A few months earlier, Fernando Alonso had been taken in the act of spying on the Audi R18 e-tron quattro during the FIA ​​party. The ax falls on June 14 with a statement by Luca di Montezemolo in the Wall Street Journal: “Of course we will not be able to be present in Endurance and Formula 1. It is not possible. The boss mentioned a possible arrival in 2020, six years later. However, the deployment of resources at Ferrari’s Le Mans Classic in 2014 could have suggested that something was going on. Always missed …
 
“There are no plans to arrive in LMP1 in the short term,” we were told at Ferrari in October 2014. “Endurance was …
 
The rest was quieter in terms of rumors even if Ferrari repeatedly used the argument of Endurance as a dissatisfaction with the rules in Formula 1. It was not until the arrival of the Le Mans Hypercar category that rumors are coming back. “Frankly, we have an important strategic moment in front of us because having the same platform for WEC and IMSA is a good opportunity,” said Antonello Coletta in February 2020. “But we have to understand exactly the new sporting and technical rules. In the wake of Sebring, we will have everything we need in front of us to decide whether we have a chance to make a car or not. Of course, for Ferrari it is important to have a direct line to the road cars. By definition, endurance is the opportunity to have a direct connection, like the 458, 488 and all our cars of the past. Now, yes, the prototypes are different cars, but it depends on what …
 
Last May, Mattia Binotto, who heads Ferrari F1, explained that Endurance and IndyCar were among the tracks under consideration. Two months later, Ferrari confirmed the start of a technical analysis with a proposal to be made to the board at the end of 2020.
Between LMH and LMDh, Ferrari was still pondering what would be best for the Maranello manufacturer, as Coletta said last summer: “We are weighing the pros and cons. There have been changes in the technical specifications of both configurations. Today, it is still too early to say which will be the most attractive. Obviously Ferrari is a manufacturer, so it would be better to fully produce the car, but the fact remains that it is too early to say anything definitive. “
 
If Ferrari chose the LMH route, it would then be with its own chassis and not by calling on an external service provider: “If Ferrari decides…
 
 
 

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