Is Ferrari about to make a return to top-level racing at Le Mans? Going by the latest comments made by its chairman, it may be a possibility.
“We have won with the 458 GTE, but I also quite like the idea of racing at Le Mans in the highest category,” Luca di Montezemolo said during a recent Christmas gathering at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters. “Maybe we should give it some serious consideration.”
The Ferrari chairman made the comments after congratulating AF Corse and its successful run of the 458 GTE in this year’s World Endurance Championship, which included the famous 24-hour race at Le Mans.
Note, this is not the first time in recent history that Ferrari was reported to be considering a return to top-level racing at Le Mans, currently the LMP1 category. Back in August the Prancing Horse was reported to be seriously considering competing in the LMP1 category with a new sports car prototype.
Ferrari hasn’t raced a prototype at Le Mans since 1973 and hasn't won with one since 1965, the year before its dominance was famously ended by Ford and its GT40. A comeback now would mean Ferrari would be competing against the likes of Audi and Toyota as well as Porsche, which makes its own return next year.
One advantage for Ferrari is the similarities between the powertrain regulations for Formula One next season and that of the WEC. This means elements from Ferrari’s new turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6 hybrid powertrain developed for F1 could be use in the WEC, helping spread its costly development.