Marchionne: Ferrari needs Formula E presence

Marchionne: Ferrari needs Formula E presence
By AutoSport

31/03/2017 at 13:47

Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne says the brand needs to get involved in Formula E in the future.

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Marchionne first flagged Ferrari's interest in the all-electric championship last November, and has now discussed a potential programme in sterner terms, with hybrid technology playing a bigger role in road cars.

BMW is set to become an official Formula E manufacturer from 2018, while Audi, Renault, Jaguar and Citroen's DS brand are also currently involved to varying degrees.

Mercedes has also secured an entry slot, set to be the championship's 11th, for the 2018/19 season.

"We need to be involved in Formula E because electrification via hybridisation is going to be part of our future," Marchionne told the FIA's official magazine, Auto.

"Hybridisation is crucial to Ferrari.

"There is no denying that regulations put us under pressure, but we could reach those targets in other ways.

"The challenge is to benefit from hybridisation not just in terms of emissions reduction, but also performance.

"We have already developed a hybrid supercar, La Ferrari, and on future Ferrari models we will leverage new technologies as well as electrification."

Ferrari is thought highly unlikely to become a full-blown Formula E manufacturer until at least 2022 but could enter in to a branding partnership with an existing private team.

This is most likely to be through the Fiat name, which recently unveiled the all-electric 500.

Ferrari has a partnership with Russian software giant Kaspersky, which is known to be ambitious in developing its racing involvement and is understood to have looked at Formula E recently.

As well as appearing on Ferrari's Formula 1 car as a sponsor, and supporting its junior drivers in F2 and GP3, Kaspersky Racing runs GT3 cars in the Blancpain GT Series.

It is thought Kaspersky could also provide a platform for a 12th Formula E team from the 2019/20 season, with driver manager Enrico Zanarini a key link between the company and Ferrari.

Formula E boss Alejandro Agag would not be drawn on Ferrari's potential involvement, but did tell Autosport he felt "it was time Mr Marchionne and I met".