Ferrari’s global head of endurance says that the manufacturer is ready to field a possible third Hypercar entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship(WEC) next season.
Ahead of the 8 Hours of Bahrain WEC season finale, Antonello Coletta stated to reporters that the third Ferrari 499P would most likely be a customer car, but he refrained from providing many specifics.
Requests for entries for the 2024 season must be submitted by November 20 and a week later the list of entries will be confirmed.
This year, Ferrari returned to the pinnacle of sports car racing with two 499Ps that were operated by the factory team AF Corse. Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, and Antonio Giovinazzi drove the No. 51 car to victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The additional Ferrari 499P would take part in the full WEC season rather than being limited to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Regarding the eventual third car, now we are ready for the potential third car,” Coletta said during the WEC season finale at Bahrain International Circuit. “We consider that our knowledge is OK to manage another car.
“I don’t know if we will have a third car or not, but we are ready to make another car. If we will have the conditions for next year, it should be an option.
“But it’s not confirmed. It should be 2024 or 2025.”
Porsche intends to field a third factory LMDh entry at Le Mans, but the ACO which is the organization that organizes the race, will decide whether to allow it or not.
A third Ferrari is believed to be linked to the Richard Mille AF Corse entry that races in GTE-Am at the moment although it’s unlikely to continue running in LMGT3.
Coletta stated that while nothing has been confirmed, the involvement of watchmaker Richard Mille, whose founder serves as president of the FIA Endurance Commission, presents a possibility for that to happen.
“It should be, but it depends [on] the circumstances,” Coletta answered when asked if AF Corse will be the technical driving force behind a prospective third entry. “If AF Corse have a budget, it should be an idea to manage with AF Corse.
“In any case, we need to manage all the engine and electronic parts, but this is normal like in F1 with a customer team.”
Coletta made an effort to dissociate the discussion about an additional Hypercar entry regarding Lilou Wadoux’s and Robert Shwartzman’s participation in Sunday’s WEC post-season rookie test. Wadoux currently races for Richard Mille AF Corse.
“I would like to clarify that if Lilou Wadoux or Robert Shwartzman would be at the rookie test [it is] because they are official drivers of Ferrari,” he added. “It is normal that we organize a rookie test with our drivers.
“But it’s completely separate from a potential third car for them.”
Although the possibility of selling a 499P was downplayed as recently as this summer, Ferrari has recently revealed that they are open to integrating customers into its LMH program.