Ferrari says it could build LMP1 Le Mans car using new turbocharged F1 engine
Ferrari has hinted of a possible LMP1 sports-car entry in the future using a powerplant based on its 2014 turbocharged Formula One engine.
Antonello Coletta, who heads up the Italian manufacturer’s non-F1 sporting activities, revealed that Ferrari is studying the new energy-based LMP1 rulebook that comes into force next season in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He didn’t rule out an entry in the series with a Ferrari-built chassis and the F1 turbocharged V6 at some undetermined point in the future.
“It is normal that Ferrari should screen all opportunities and stand at the window and look in,” said Coletta. “It is important for us to understand what is available in the future.”
But Coletta stressed that there are no immediate plans for Ferrari, which has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright on nine occasions, to mount its first factory prototype campaign since 1973.
“At the moment we are concentrated on F1, so it would not be possible to do something else,” he explained.
“That means that we cannot say Ferrari will be in LMP1, but we cannot say that Ferrari will not be in LMP1. We can also not say if our vision is for 2015, 2016 or beyond.”
Coletta stressed that if Ferrari did join Audi, Toyota, Porsche and, most likely, Nissan in LMP1 in 2015 or beyond, it would be with a full-factory effort and not just as an engine supplier.
“Either we build a car or we do not come,” he stated.
Renault has also raised the prospect of its 1.6-liter turbocharged F1 V6 becoming the basis of an LMP1 powerplant.
Ferrari will remain in the WEC’s GTE Pro class with the AF Corse team in 2014, Coletta confirmed.
“The program is confirmed and it is natural that the situation should be the same as 2013,” he said.