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Ferrari’s sports car comeback after 50 years

11 months ago

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Writer:

Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder

Date:

17 March 2023

Ferrari will return to the World Endurance Championship this weekend as a works team at the top level for the first time in 50 years. Fifty years! Fifty years ago our Prime Minister hadn’t even been born. We’d barely gone into what was then known as the EEC, let alone come out. Commercial supersonic flights had yet to begin and if you were a woman living in Switzerland, you’d still be getting used to the idea of being allowed to vote, universal suffrage having come to the country just two years earlier.

Why is Ferrari going back now? For the passion, the sheer love of the sport, not being able to countenance being away for any longer? Well possibly, at least in part. But that there’s also some fairly hard-nosed commerce behind it should be no surprise either. You just don’t go racing at this level without a proper business plan behind you unless you’re a bunch of idiots. And Ferrari is anything but.

There are two core commercial considerations behind the decision and you should not be surprised to learn the first is financial. Bluntly, it can afford to. Not simply because Ferrari is a wildly profitable company these days – it didn’t get that way pouring money into expensive loss making enterprises – but because both the cost of competing in Formula 1 and in sports car racing have been decimated of late. Put it this way: if the desire to race sports cars is the motive, the F1 cost cap has provided the means, the new LMH rules the opportunity. So it can.

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