NTT IndyCar Series owner Roger Penske says the quest to sign a new engine partner is focused on Ferrari, and Ferrari alone, as talks continue with Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto to have the manufacturer join the series when its 2.4-liter twin-turbo hybrid V6 engine formula arrives in 2022
“Our focus has been on Ferrari,” Penske confirmed. “I’ve been in contact with them directly, with Mattia Binotto in the last few days, answering questions. They’re taking a very serious look at this opportunity. It’s an area they haven’t competed in before as a team.
“This is their biggest market worldwide from the standpoint of the brand, but I think it could be a real opportunity for them. Also, it would be a start of bringing them into the IndyCar series. I think it’s only fair to work on one at a time.”
Through Penske’s longstanding ties with General Motors, Chevrolet returned to IndyCar competition in 2012 with Ilmor Engineering, the specialist racing engine constructor co-founded by Mario Illien, Paul Morgan and Penske. Honda, through its Honda Performance Development racing division, has maintained a consistent presence in IndyCar since joining the CART IndyCar Series in 1994. Both brands share the current engine supply needs for the series, and while IndyCar is hopeful to sign the pair to new agreements for 2022 and beyond, the need to add a third engine partner remains.
“I want to take this one all the way and see where we end up, but there’s been lots of dialogue (from Ferrari) with the IndyCar people,” Penske added. “They’ve made a trip to Dallara, so this is not an idle discussion. Now, do we have an answer yet? The answer is no, but I’ve got this one on the front of my calendar every day.”