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Ferrari enters world of yacht racing with veteran Soldini

Ferrari has joined Formula 1 rivals Mercedes and Red Bull in using its technology in the world of yachting.

Giovanni Soldini

Autosport Business

Covering industry news and insight into the business of motorsport

The company has teamed up with veteran Italian yacht racer Giovanni Soldini to design and build a single craft under the Ferrari name.

In contrast to the other examples, the impetus comes from the road car side in Maranello and there is no crossover with the F1 operation.

Red Bull and Mercedes both contribute technology to America’s Cup programmes under the umbrella of applied science projects.

In essence they are intended to both showcase F1 technology while also finding work for employees that is outside the scope of grand prix racing’s budget cap as teams seek to slim down operational headcounts.

The FIA clamped down on potential abuse of such projects last year when it issued a technical directive, TD45, that ensured that no IP could flow back to the F1 team from work being done elsewhere.

Ferrari says that its project is not related to finding a home for F1 employees who might be surplus to requirements, and that while some staff from the road car division will be involved, there will also be new hires.

The company indicates that it will “utilise cutting-edge technologies throughout the entire cycle, from conception and engineering to realisation”.

It adds that “the search for maximum performance at sea will generate innovations and concrete solutions for sustainability that, in line with Ferrari’s tradition, will be an important stimulus in the evolution of its sportscars”.

The Ferrari logo

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The Ferrari logo

Ferrari has not provided any details of the craft, or indicated in what competitions it will compete.

Soldini, who has just ended an 11-year partnership with Maserati, is an endurance racing specialist known for competing in transatlantic events and setting records.

Ferrari chairman John Elkaan said: “We are about to embark on an exciting journey that will expand our racing soul.

“With this new competitive challenge, motivated by our innovative capacity and commitment to sustainability, we will push beyond current boundaries.

“We are happy to be able to count on Giovanni, who is extraordinary in terms of experience, determination and team spirit.”

Soldini added: “We are working on an important and cutting-edge project with an amazing technological potential that brings together different worlds and skills of the highest level.

“Working with an exceptional team in the research and development of innovative solutions that are respectful of our environment is a truly unique experience.”

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