Ferrari CEO issues statement on commitment to Formula 1 amid struggles

Ferrari has committed to Formula 1 and the World Enducrance Championship for the foreseeable future, highlighting the importance of racing to the company.

Ferrari’s CEO, Benedetto Vigna, has explained the significance of motorsport for the company during an interview with Bloomberg. 

Vigna expressed Ferrari’s commitment to racing, stating that it has always been and will continue to be ingrained in the company’s DNA. 

He emphasised the importance of Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) as platforms for technological advancements that can transfer from the track to the road.

Vigna revealed that after a 50-year absence, Ferrari will make its comeback to the World Endurance Championship at Le Mans next week. 

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“Sport is very important for us. Racing has been, it is, it will be in the DNA of our company,” he said.

“In 2023, 50 years after we stopped attending the World Endurance Championship we go back – next week will be Le Mans.

“So sport is very important: Formula 1, World Endurance Championship and we keep investing there because we see a lot of technologies that can go from the track to the road.”

He noted that the company’s forthcoming sports utility vehicle, the Purosangue, features a crucial component derived from the combustion engine technology utilised in Formula 1, demonstrating the tangible link between the track and the road.

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When asked about the stress of witnessing Ferrari’s somewhat disappointing start to the 2023 season, Vigna downplayed the impact, remarking that there are more stressful things in life. He acknowledged the need for improvement and continuous learning, emphasising Ferrari’s commitment to producing cars that surpass their predecessors.

“There is a way to improve, there is a way to learn. We have to make a car that is better, always, than the past one. This is true for everything we do.”

Ferrari showcased their prowess in qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours with an impressive performance. However, their position on the pole is not yet guaranteed, as the hyperpole session is still pending.

The day’s activities began with a three-hour practice session, during which Toyota secured the top two positions with the GR010 Hybrids. 

The tightly contested field saw the top eight teams separated by just a second, including Cadillac, Porsches, Peugeots, and Ferrari.

In the subsequent one-hour qualifying session, limited opportunities arose for clean laps due to traffic from cars in lower classes. 

The session was disrupted by two red flag stoppages, causing crashes. Despite the interruptions, Kamui Kobayashi of Toyota set the initial fastest lap. 

Porsche Penske’s Frederic Makowiecki and Cadillac’s Earl Bamber followed closely behind. Ferrari showed promising speed but faced setbacks due to track limits violations and red flags.

In the closing stages, Antonio Fuoco of Ferrari set an impressive lap time, securing the top spot. Alessandro Pier Guidi, also from Ferrari, secured second place. 

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Toyota claimed the third and fourth positions, while Porsche and Cadillac rounded out the top six. Peugeot, despite being 2.333 seconds off the pace, secured the 10th starting position for the race.

The day concluded with two hours of night-time practice, where Laurens Vanthoor of Porsche Penske recorded the fastest lap. Jota Sport, with their Porsche, closely followed within a second of the leading pace. Notably, Vanwall put their car at the forefront of the LMP2 class, underscoring their competitive performance.

As Ferrari prepares to return to the World Endurance Championship, their strong qualifying performance sets the stage for an exciting and fiercely contested Le Mans 24 Hours race.