Ferrari committed to F1 and WEC for future, says CEO

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In the round-up: Ferrari Benedetto Vigna says the team remains committed to top-flight motorsport because of the value of technology transfer to its road vehicles.

In brief

Ferrari committed to F1 and WEC for future – Vigna

“Sport is very important for us,” Ferrari’s CEO Vigna told Bloomberg this week. “Racing has been, it is, it will be in the DNA of our company.

“In 2023, 50 years after we stopped attending the World Endurance Championship we go back – next week will be Le Mans. So sport is very important: Formula 1, World Endurance Championship and we keep investing there because we see a lot of technologies that can go from the track to the road.”

He said the company’s first sports utility vehicle, the Purosangue, “has an important feature that is from the combustion engine that we took from Formula 1 – it is on the road through the Purosangue.”

Asked whether watching the team’s largely unsuccessful start to 2023 had been stressful, Vigna answered: “There are even more stressful things than this!

“There is a way to improve, there is a way to learn. We have to make a car that is better, always, than the past one. This is true for everything we do.”

Fuoco leads Ferrari one-two in Le Mans qualifying

Ferrari set the pace in qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours on Wednesday, although they are not guaranteed pole yet as today’s hyperpole session is still to come.

Ferrari led the first stage of qualifying at Le Mans
Wednesday’s action began with a three-hour daytime practice session and Toyota went one-two with Brendon Hartley setting the benchmark lap in the faster of the two GR010 Hybrids. The top eight were covered by a second, and that included a Cadillac, two Porsches, two Peugeots and a Ferrari.

The condensed one-hour qualifying session in the evening meant far fewer opportunities to set laps uncompromised by traffic by cars in lower classes, although initially the disruption they caused was actually crashes as there were two red flag stoppages during the first 16 minutes.

The clock was paused during these periods, but only 20 cars out of 62 had set flying laps in the first 20 minutes and Toyota’s Kamui Kobayashi led the way with a 3’25.485 lap.

Porsche Penske’s Frederic Makowiecki was first to get close to his pace, with Cadillac’s Earl Bamber half a second back in third halfway through qualifying. The Ferraris looked very fast, but Antonio Fuoco lost a pole-threatening lap to a track limits violation and another to red flags.

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In the meantime Hartley made it a Toyota one-two, with Fuoco down in ninth and therefore not progressing to the Hyperpole session, but then with 20 minutes to go Fuoco set a 3’25.421 to move to the top. He improved by 0.2 seconds on his next lap, as team mate Alessandro Pier Guidi went second fastest, and the order was then set to the end.

The Toyotas were third and fourth, with Makowiecki and his Porsche team mate Felipe Nasr in fifth and sixth, then Sebastien Bourdais and Earl Bamber secured the final two Hyperpole places for Cadillac.

Peugeot’s fastest car was 2.333s off the pace and will start 10th for the race, while the third Porsche Penske car stopped on track at the end while Nasr was at the wheel.

The day ended with two hours of night-time practice, and Porsche Penske’s Laurens Vanthoor was fastest. Jota Sport were within a second of the pace with their Porsche, which missed qualifying due to hybrid issues, and the 16-car Hypercar group was propped up by Vanwall who at the very end put their car 1.716s clear of the LMP2 class leader with a lap 6.269s off the ultimate pace.

FIA details sustainability targets for future of F3

Formula 3 will have new engines from 2025
The FIA has published the invitation to tender to supply the engine for the F1-supporting Formula 3 championship from 2025 to 2027.

Mecachrome is the current supplier and its naturally aspirated 3.4-litre, six-cylinder engine has been in use since 2019. That engine is capable of 380 horsepower, and the FIA is targeting an increase to 399hp for the next engine.

Other requirements it has set in the tender documents include a requirement to be able to run on 55% sustainable fuel in the engine’s first season of use (with a 100% sustainable fuel compatibility target for 2026), to have some components be recyclable and for the on-track engine life be more than 10,000km as F3 plans to have a calendar length of 10 rounds and nine test days for 2025.

The FIA has left it open-ended on whether the engine should be naturally aspirated or turbocharged, if it should include a push-to-pass system and what size the engine is. This detail is key as it determines the bodywork size and wheelbase for when F3 also brings in a new chassis.

Italian F1 presenters in trouble for sexist remarks

Sky Sports Italia has suspended two members of its F1 presenting team following sexist remarks made on-air last weekend.

During their post-race analysis, 2003 FIA GT champion Matteo Bobbi called a woman in the background of their broadcast an “upgrade package”. His colleague Davide Valsecchi, the 2012 GP2 champion, replied: “I’ve been told we can’t test those.” Their exchange continued along similar lines, despite an attempted intervention by their unimpressed co-presenter Federica Masolin.

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Comment of the day

F1 has breaking attendance records for race weekends over the past three seasons, and increased demand for tickets tends to lead to increased ticket prices and also more ‘tiers’ of tickets between general attendance and the very top of the VIP packages.

Last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix proved particularly chaotic when it came to getting fans and those working at the event in and out of the venue in a timely and stress-free fashion on each day of the weekend, but that does not seem to be an issue in IndyCar based on the experiences of one RaceFans reader.

I just went to the IndyCar Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course race a few weeks ago and I was blown away by the quality and value you get for $65.

Covered grandstand seats for $65 each, they let you bring all the food and drinks you want, getting in and out of IMS took literally five minutes, there was never nothing going on on track, clean always open restrooms… it was such an easy and rewarding event I’ve got to go back and after watching the highlights of Detroit I think I’d like to go check that out as well! Now if only they had their own streaming service…

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Spasman78!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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24 comments on “Ferrari committed to F1 and WEC for future, says CEO”

  1. The first time NASCAR has had an entry at LeMans since 1976. I’m not a huge LeMans or NASCAR guy but I think that’s pretty neat.

    The driver line-up is pretty interesting too; Jimmy Johnson, Jenson Button and Mike Rockenfeller. We’ll see if they can make it to the checkered flag.

  2. People seemingly get offended by anything these days.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      8th June 2023, 6:35

      Hoe dare you!

      1. notagrumpyfan
        8th June 2023, 6:36


    2. How is calling a woman an upgrade package and wishing you could take her out to test on live television not going to cause offense or incur any consequences?

      1. Given that Italy’s divorce rate is about 50%, the concept of an ‘upgrade package’ seems quite common.

        The other part is indeed probably best left unsaid.

  3. Regarding Roland’s view. I share his view. F1 is really just the Pareto Distribution in full force currently. This danger has been evident for a while. I would say however that his comment about club racing etc… benefiting, I would disagree with. As F1 becomes more popular we see inflationary pressures at all levels and areas of the sport. Let’s not forget that Motorsport UK licences numbers for karting fell during Hamilton’s ascent to being the most successful F1 drivers of all time. There’s multiple reasons for this and it largely reflects the senior driver flight, but it’s worth noting. I speak to club and club committee members all the time and they are not singing the tune of health. Usually it’s the opposite.

    COTD: I think it’s worth noting IndyCar enforce a local TV blackout of the race to force locals to go watch live or don’t watch at all. Why IndyCar gets away with this aggressive practise I am not sure.

    1. Dane has a respectable idea; ‘playing to Supercars many unique strengths plus not forgetting the core audience’.

      But this is not what F1 is about. The strengths of F1 are almost purely in its qualities as an entertainment product. The racing it self is pretty poor, it’s not competitive, and the on track action – if one driver doesn’t run the other off – is generally a ‘one move and it’s done’ situation. It’s extremely rare in F1 to have battles that last for more than a lap.

      If other series want to be interesting to viewers, they may not have to emulate F1’s marketing, but they do have to get with the times and look at what F1TV has been doing. By contrast, the WEC website is terrible, and constantly links to PDFs instead of offering a proper informative pages. Its streaming service is a real chore to sign up to, and that’s if you can avoid being railroaded into the French language version. Indycar has a decent YouTube presence, even if they’re slow to upload after races, but its live broadcasts on Indycar Live are unavailable in much of Europe (unless you want to pay to only watch live Free Practise, I guess).

      And nothing against John Hindhaugh, but it’d be nice to get any sportscar coverage without him talking over it.

      1. F1 is far more competitive. You have 10 teams building bespoke cars with no BoP. In terms of competition… its way above almost all other motorsports. Also let’s not confuse lots of overtaking with quality racing. I have a lot of problems with F1 but it does have high stakes. That’s a key ingredient.

        When you gave spec racing or BoP racing a and move towards more overtaking the value of the racing decreases.

        While I agree copying F1 isn’t the way to go generally… what F1 has is cultural meaning. For any mororsport to thrive this is an absolute vital component. If the racing is meaningless it doesn’t matter how many overtakes there are.

        1. F1 is competitive in theory. In reality, 7 of the teams don’t have the means, facilities, engine partners (or even desire) to be actually successful. Aston Martin’s investments might reduce that to 6. And the scope for development allowed within the regulations is now so small that F1 keeps falling from one era of domination into the next because unless a team nails the one thing that defines the era (be it blown diffusers, hybrid engines, underbody aero) they’re left attempting to catch up while being restricted in how much money they can spend, restricted in how much time they can test, restricted in how much simulation time they can use, etc.

          F1 only has “value” because Ecclestone and his partners were able, through various clever ideas and schemes, to make F1 the most accessible, reliably aired racing series at a time when that mattered. That helped seperate F1 from many other racing series, some of whom had much longer histories and more races than F1. The Concord definitely-not-a-cartel has done this very well, and they’ve all benefited greatly from this. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just business, but there’s also nothing inherently valuable about F1. It has become valuable to the marketeers of large manufacturers because it has been able to capture an audience.

          1. F1 has higher levels of competition, thus more competitive. The regulatory structure it works within I do have issues with, but the notion F1 isn’t competitive doesn’t hold water. It’s by far the most competitive motorsport competition.

            With regard to value. F1’s value is derived from many areas not just Ecclestone. It’s the FIA Formula 1 World Championship for starters and is placed at the top by the FIA. But all of that is irrelevant. Value is somewhat ethereal and where it got its value is secondary to the fact it is the most valuable series.

  4. the 16-car Hypercar group was propped up by Vanwall who at the very end put their car 1.716s clear of the LMP2 class leader with a lap 6.269s off the ultimate pace.

    I blame Jacques Villeneuve.

  5. Now if only they had their own streaming service…

    They do.

    1. They do, but the races can’t be seen live in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, England, Spain, Portugal or pretty much any major European country because they apparently have exclusivity deals with local pay-to-view broadcasters.

      1. some racing fan
        9th June 2023, 23:57

        I thought Sky Sports broadcasted the IndyCar races.

  6. I feel that going forward, after the first race of the season, F1 should mandate that all cars be lifted by crane for 1 minute each. The only way for teams to avoid this would be to not race in the 1st race itself. This will allow design teams to catch up sooner.

    Reverse engineering happens everywhere – aerospace, regular car design, other fields. Why not in F1 too

    1. Why? The secrecy is part of the fun. It makes F1 interesting.

      Monaco is such a brilliant event because the risk to floor exposure if a driver bins it. Makes it all more stakes.

      I don’t get why people want to remove stakes from F1 and sanitising it so hard.

      1. I don’t get why people want to remove stakes from F1 and sanitising it so hard.

        You must ‘get’ that F1 is a racing competition, right? Not just an engineering exercise. It is performed almost entirely for the benefit of a mass audience and would totally cease to exist without it (in any recognisable form, at least).
        We, the audience, want racing that can actually be called racing – not just execution.

        Perhaps you’ve noticed that the drivers get far more attention than the team bosses, engineers and designers do?
        F1’s off-track ‘technical game’ isn’t massively interesting to the vast majority of viewers – least of all now that the rules are as restrictive as they are – and especially not when it leads to such domination and repetitive events and results as we have seen for the last 20 years.

        1. Around 50% of the videos produced about F1 from major motorsport outlets are about the engineering. Its the core component in F1’s commercial success.

          The driver’s success in terms of interest is predicated on the notion that someone who finishes 10th could be the best driver on that day. The engineering aspect of F1 allows for this depth of conversation. Lando is lauded because he drove a difficult car. So you can’t divorce the engineering aspect from how the drivers are perceived

        2. I don’t doubt some people care about the engineering of F1 cars, but it’s not a huge number – and a sizeable portion of that audience is probably just F1 fans who want to watch everything about F1. Totally fair; I’m guessing most people have had a phase like that.

          F1 published 22 videos of the Spanish GP weekend on its YouTube channel. Unsurprisingly, the best viewed was the Race Highlights (index 100). Also unsurprisingly, the top five videos were all Highlights of the different sessions with the lowest viewed being the FP3 Highlights (index 19). The one video dedicated to a technical subject was about Ferrari’s upgrades, and it was the 11th most viewed video (index 8) – beating out videos such as the onboard pole lap, the FP2 fastest lap, the fastest pitstop, and the radio messages given to drivers at the end of the race.

          It’s quite telling that the only genuinely interesting technical innovation F1 has seen, arguably since it banned the active suspensions in the early 1990s is now being removed from the car; the MGU-H.

          1. Precisely – people want to watch car racing. Who’d have thought they’d tune in to a motorsport series for that?

            While the MGU-H may be a technically interesting piece of engineering for its intended function – it has absolutely no value in a sporting context, nor a place in the ‘real’ (non-motorsport) world.
            If the goal was to make a relatively thermally-efficient racing engine – they did it, and congratulations to them.
            Now they can move on to something either genuinely useful, or properly entertaining.

          2. Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
            9th June 2023, 9:49

            MichaelN Among other reasons, MGU-H turned out not to be as interesting as hoped – most of the expected use cases have so far turned out to be better filled by other technologies. Having it on the car for 12 years has not resulted in use, outside a couple of road car models. (Contrast MGU-K, for example, which is a regular feature of most hybrid devices that involve brakes). Unlike most technologies of this type, it’s possible developments elsewhere might eventually make it interesting to the world (and F1), but the world isn’t there now, and probably won’t be in 2026 either. It also doesn’t appear to have any racing-specific benefits (a belief in which explains why DRS keeps getting applied despite other active aero being banned, despite useful active aero generally not taking a form resembling DRS in other applications).

            F1 has always leaned more towards pragmatic engineering than artistic/theoretical engineering. The latter get more views but the former are what get F1 the non-viewer interest and sponsor monies. This is especially true in the budget cap era, where every bit of expenditure is questioned and iterative improvement has become the name of the game.

          3. 1. The racing is only interesting because of the technical differences between the cars. No one would watch F1 if it was spec. This is where there’s confusion. You can’t isolate videos on F1’s Youtube channel because all of the content is derived from a mutli-manufacturer platform. The highlights will generate most viewed because that’s the ‘sport’ at the end of the day. How many features do F1 put out about specific isolate driving techniques, driver analysis? it’s almost zero. So your comparison doesn’t add up.

            2. Technical videos/articles generate huge interest and content. Most of the top stories on this website right now are about what? RedBull’s floor, William’s floor, Ferrari’s development. The Race and Autosport put out technical videos which are around 50% technical based.

            There’s a huge fallacy that F1’s technical aspect is a flaw not a feature. It’s an enormously important factor in F1’s success. It can’t be understated. Websites like this would soon collapse if it was structured like IndyCar.

          4. 1. The racing is only interesting because of the technical differences between the cars.

            Then surely you’d have to agree that it has failed in at least 50% of its core objectives?
            Racing isn’t interesting if it doesn’t involve real, actual racing. If it were called the “FIA Formula 1 World Engineering Championship” then it wouldn’t matter how poorly they race each other.
            But it isn’t – and it does also involve a WDC, which is explicitly about racing and, conceptually, not at all about engineering.

            No one would watch F1 if it was spec.

            You might not watch it, but a lot of other people would. It’s not that far from spec now, anyway.

            How many features do F1 put out about specific isolate driving techniques, driver analysis? it’s almost zero.

            You don’t suppose that’s because they know that the vast majority of viewers are far less interested in those aspects than the racing? The ROI for producing such content would be very small indeed, and likely not feature anything that you can’t get from independent media anyway.

            Most of the top stories on this website right now are about what? RedBull’s floor, William’s floor, Ferrari’s development. The Race and Autosport put out technical videos which are around 50% technical based.

            Today, on a non-GP weekend….
            And how strong is the engagement with these versus articles based predominantly or wholly on the on-track racing product…?
            Perhaps Keith can provide some stats here, but I suggest the comments sections provide a reasonable amount of evidence.

            There’s a huge fallacy that F1’s technical aspect is a flaw not a feature.

            F1’s implementation of technical aspects/diversity is most definitely a flaw – however the existence of the concept is not.
            Which is indeed a substantial part of why F1 became so popular in the past. Now, however, it’s simply not the case.
            They’ve all got essentially the same engine, essentially the same basic aerodynamic concepts, the same driver aids, the same tyres and wheels, the same gears and the same suspension systems. Where is the diversity? It exists only in the microscope and on the stopwatch, and it is largely consistent for several seasons at a time.

            I don’t know why you hate Indycar so much. It’s enormously popular and growing faster than F1 is right now because it delivers action, excitement and competitive depth pretty much every single time they hit the track.
            Indycar is about the things you see and experience on the day, whereas F1 has become much more predicated on what happened under the veil of secrecy in a factory 6-12 months prior.

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