Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has added weight to the prospect of a return to sports car racing’s prototype ranks by the Italian manufacturer. It is understood that Ferrari has undertaken a low-level evaluation of the new LMP1 rulebook for next year’s World Endurance Championship using its forthcoming turbocharged V6 Formula 1 engine and its dual energy-retrieval systems.
Montezemolo touched on the subject in his holiday address to the factory, a week after Ferrari admitted that it was evaluating next year’s energy-based LMP1 rules.
“We have won with the 458 GTE, but I also quite like the idea of racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the highest category,” he said. “Who knows, maybe one day we can return and win, say thanks and come home? Maybe we should give it some serious consideration…”
Antonello Coletta, who heads up non-Formula 1 sporting programs at Maranello, told AUTOSPORT earlier in the month that it was “important for us to understand what is available in the future. It is normal that Ferrari should screen all opportunities and stand at the window and look in,” he explained.
He stressed, however, that no decisions had been made and would not put a date on a possible Ferrari factory return to the prototype ranks for the first time since 1973.
Di Montezemolo also paid tribute to those involved in Ferrari’s successful assault on the GTE Pro class of the WEC in 2013.
“I wish to congratulate Amato Ferrari and his AF Corse team,” he said. “I thank everyone at Corse Cliente [the division that runs the marque’s GT programs], the drivers and especially the new world champion, Gimmi Bruni.”