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WEC Bahrain

Ferrari "ready" to support customer Hypercar entry in WEC 2024

Ferrari is considering supplying its 499P Le Mans Hypercar to a customer team in the World Endurance Championship as early as 2024.

#50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen

Antonello Coletta, the boss of Ferrari’s sportscar programme, stated that the Italian manufacturer is now in a position to expand its WEC hypercar programme beyond its two factory cars.

Such an effort would receive technical support from Ferrari, which has repeatedly stated that the 499P is too complicated to run completely independent of the factory.

If the plan comes to fruition it would make Ferrari the first LMH marque to make its car available to a privateer team.

“We are now going for the potential third car,” Coletta said on the eve of the-season ending Bahrain 8 Hours. “We consider that our knowledge is okay to manage another car. 

“I don't know if we will have a third car but we are ready to make another car. 

“If we will have the condition for next year it should be an option. But it's not confirmed if it will be 2024 or 2025.”

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Coletta made it clear that Ferrari intends on completing the full season with the third car, rather than simply boosting its entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Two of Ferrari’s premier class rivals, Cadillac and Porsche, brought additional cars to La Sarthe this year.

“If we consider a third car it will be for all the year, not just for Le Mans. there is no interest for us to manage just for one race the third car,” Coletta added.

It has been suggested that a third car effort could be fronted by AF Corse, Ferrari’s current partner team in WEC, with backing from watchmaker Richard Mille.

AF Corse is already well versed with the 499P LMH car, making it the ideal team to run a customer car programme.

Asked if AF Corse could be behind the planned customer car effort, Coletta said: “Depends on the circumstance. If AF Corse have a budget it should be the idea to manage it with AF Corse. 

“In any case we need to manage all the engine parts and all the electronic parts but this is normal like in F1 like with a customer team.”

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

One of the two drivers who will drive Ferrari’s hypercar in the Bahrain rookie test is Lilou Wadoux, who is competing with the AF Corse-run Richard Mille team in GTE Am after joining Ferrari’s factory GT roster at the start of the year.

Wadoux also has prototype experience thanks to a season in the LMP2 ranks, also with Richard Mille, plus a test outing with Toyota exactly 12 months ago at the Bahrain International Circuit.

When questioned if Richard Mille could have an involvement in the potential third car entry, Coletta said: “At the moment it should be an option but not confirmed absolutely.

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“I would like to clarify that if Lilou Wadoux and Robert Shwartzman will be in the rookie test it's because [they are] our official drivers for Ferrari and it's normal we organise a rookie test with our drivers. 

“But it's completely separate [from] the hypothetical third car with them.”

Porsche is currently the only manufacturer selling its cars to customers in WEC, but its 963 is built to the less-complex LMDh rules.

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