Ferrari SF16-H, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Arrivabene doubts Ferrari would enter Formula E

2016 F1 season

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Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has played down suggestions by the company’s president Sergio Marchionne that it could enter Formula E in the future.

Asked whether he thought the team might race in the championship one day Arrivabene began by pointing out “the strategy in terms of investment in Ferrari is something that is not under my responsibility.”

Formula E, Hong Kong, 2016
Formula E’s third championship season began in Hong Kong
“Formula E, I think that Mr Marchionne was very clear,” Arrivabene added. “At the moment it is not in the programme of Ferrari.”

“The way that we are talking about hybrid, we are building up experience in Formula One. That said it could be but it is not up to me to decide the right strategy.”

“But Formula E, I don’t think so.”

Marchionne said the all-electric championship would not be on Ferrari’s agenda unless aspects of its technical regulations were changed. These include the high degree of standardisation in the technical regulations and the requirement to switch cars mid-race.

Outside Formula One, Ferrari only competes in championships based on production road models such as the World Endurance Championship’s GT category.

Formula E continues its 2016-17 season, which is the third running of the championship, with round two in Morocco this weekend. Renault, Audi, BMW, Citroen and Jaguar all participate in the championship to different degrees. Mercedes also has an option to enter in 2018.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Arrivabene doubts Ferrari would enter Formula E”

  1. It has always been presented as a catalog of technology fundamentally averse to the Ferrari philosophy, and whilst the marque has begun to dabble with hybridity with the LaFerrari, Ferrari don’t appear particularly interested in what is in store for their brand once all the hydrocarbons have gone bang. For other manufacturers it is an excellent promotional platform for battery technology and one that can be clearly linked to road-going products…albeit, of course F1 is doing more for the development of battery technologies than FE ever could.

    Ferrari, like almost all exclusively performance car marques, are struggling for a long-term vision of their future. The choice is binary one: embrace change, instill the next generation with all the exclusive performance traits honed by the brand, or plough on blinkedly clinging to those dwindling barrels of petrol.

    1. @william-brierty, you do realise that you are talking about the same manufacturer that recently produced a patent for a radical new form of modular hybrid design (enabling both front and mid engined cars to be constructed around common hybrid elements)? Or Marchionne’s commitment to ensure that every single car that they manufacture will contain hybrid elements by 2019?

      I’d say that there is a far simpler reason for why Ferrari isn’t interested in Formula E at the moment – for all of the talk about the series, it generates only a tiny amount of sponsorship revenue, is a loss making series and the viewing figures have been extremely variable. It still remains to be seen whether the series really is viable for the long term, so right now I don’t blame them for taking a more cautious approach – equally, given how locked down the series is going to be for the medium term, there really is not going to be any technological transfer benefit for quite some time (it’s more just about presenting a green image than any practical benefit).

  2. Aren’t they legally impeded to do so because of their contract with Bernie?

    1. Unless there’s something in the bilateral agreement that is kept secret, no (after all, Mercedes has an option for entering into Formula E just before the F1 contract ends).

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