Ferrari LMP Program?

Ferrari is sucking in Formula 1. It boils down to the management team and Ferrari Chairman Luca Di Montzemolo being too critical of the team and not allowing their engineers to make bold strides in development, with both the engine and the rest of the car. Ferrari is indeed at a crossroads, and so is the rest of Formula 1. Today former World Champion Niki Lauda, who drove for Ferrari, came out and stated that Formula 1 needs to end its current nanny state within regards to its new rules and regulations. With the continued upheaval throughout the paddock, Ferrari has made intonations that it may leave Formula 1, or at the very least run a scaled back program in favor of running a new Endurance team.

Now we have a picture of what that may look like.

ferrari lmp1

From the mind of a design student in Sicily, this is the Ferrari LaFerrari LMP1 car. What the designer, Daniele Pelligra, did with the car was consider what a Ferrari endurance car may look like. In previous years, Ferrari had a fantastic endurance team, but swept it aside to focus on Formula 1. With so many rule changes and a very big losing streak that doesn’t seem like it will be ending anytime soon. Daniele showed us what is possible. Incorporating the LaFerrari design language into a LMP prototype racer, including the rear tail section, increased front and rear aero, and a livery that drips of amazing. When the concept was release at Ferrari’s cavalcade last week, supposedly Ferrari boss Di Montezemolo said it was “very interesting.”

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This is far from saying they are going to build it, and for the time, this has nothing to do with Ferrari officially. However, reports have been coming in that Ferrari is definitely mulling the idea of a LMP program over. A few weeks ago, Sportscar365 reported that there could be a press announcement concerning a potential Ferrari program in the coming weeks. We have also seen some spy shots of some sort of racecar running around Ferrari’s test track at Fiorano which could be an early prototype or some form of mule.

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This year, both Di Montzemolo and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso were both at the famed 24hrs of LeMans, with Luca watching the race and exploring the paddock and Fernando actually waving the start flag, giving more and more credence to all of these rumors circulating.

ferrari

What we have thus far are just rumors, but with Ferrari’s losing streak, Di Montezemolo’s irritation with the FiA and F1, the return of Porsche to LMP racing, and the continued dominance of Audi, a Ferrari comeback is a definite possibility. Ferrari definitely isn’t hurting for sales, however, as the years go by and the brands perception decrease because of years without wins, that image will definitely be tarnished. Ferrari can’t trade on their heritage alone, they need to always look towards the future and continue to win in motorsports. In addition to saving their reputation, Ferrari could use the platform as a test bed for new road car technologies, just like Audi, and Toyota have been doing. They are already exploiting technologies from their Formula 1 cars, such as KERS, paddle shifts, and lightweight carbon construction. With a LMP program, they could take those technologies to the next level and begin to bring more of that to their road cars. And with this rendering, we as fans can maybe start hounding Ferrari and pushing them to just commit and return to endurance racing in full force. I mean come on, just look at that, it says, “Stiamo arrivando per te Audi!”

 Photo’s via f1fanatic

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