The NTT IndyCar Series’ efforts to bring Ferrari into the paddock as an engine supplier have met an end, according to a report from Red Bull’s Speed Week.
“After our discussions, we came to the conclusion that we will not be entering IndyCar anytime soon,” Scuderia Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto told the site. “That might be possible in the medium and long term. But today we want to concentrate our investments on Formula 1 involvement.”
Penske Corporation president Bud Denker says despite Ferrari’s decision, the Penske-owned series has continued to develop possibilities with other auto brands on joining Chevrolet and Honda when the new hybrid powertrain regulations arrive in 2023.
“What we have said in the past is that we have not just one manufacturer, but many manufacturers we’ve been in discussion with,” Denker told RACER. “It’s prudent to ensure you lay a base broadly, instead of just one, and we’ve been transparent about that. We’re optimistic about bringing another manufacturer — or manufacturers — into our sport, and those conversations are continuing. I’m hopeful that those things will come to fruition. They take time, for budgetary, scope, and resource reasons.”
IndyCar’s current 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 formula will venture into new territory in two years’ time. On the internal combustion engine side, an increase in capacity to 2.4 liters, and a spike in horsepower from approximately 700hp without push-to-pass, to 800hp, is on the cards. And a new, spec, kinetic energy recovery system, capable of adding 80-100hp, should bring roughly 900hp to bear on KERS deployment.
To be fully prepared for the changeover in 2023, IndyCar’s current and future engine suppliers will want to start the design, manufacturing, and initial dyno testing process well before the end of the year. It means that if IndyCar were to add a third or fourth manufacturer to its series, major decisions would need to be approved by those brands in a similar window. Denker, however, says at this stage, he isn’t worried.
“I don’t think we’re on the clock yet,” he added. “There are some unique ways we can help manufacturers to get there that I don’t want to get into. I’m not stressing about it, and there’s still time to have another manufacturer here with the proper time for development.”