Antonello Coletta, Ferrari’s global head of endurance and Corse Clienti, has reiterated that Ferrari is open to supporting a third 499P Hypercar for the FIA World Endurance Championship, although it might not happen next season.
“We consider that our knowledge is OK to manage another car. I don’t know if we will have a third car or not, but we are ready for a third car,” he said. “If we have the right conditions for next year, it should be an option — it could be 2024 or 2025.”
In addition to reiterating that the manufacturer will not support a 499P for an IMSA GTP program, Coletta stated that Ferrari isn’t interested in adding a third car exclusively for the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“If we consider a third car it will be for a whole season, not just for Le Mans,” he explained. “It’s not interesting for us to manage a third car for one race. It will probably be a customer (rather than a factory car).”
Coletta said the possible new entry could be run by its Hypercar partner team AF Corse but that this was not a certainty
“It depends on the circumstance,” Coletta said. “If AF Corse has a budget then it should be an idea to manage it with AF Corse. In any case, we need to manage all the engines and electronics. This is normal, like in F1 for customers.”
Another option could be an effort being backed by Richard Mille, like the current No. 83 GTE Am 488 EVO effort. “At the moment it should be an option, but it is not confirmed,” Coletta said of that prospect. He also noted that Lilou Wadoux (who currently drives the Richard Mille GTE Ferrari) sampling a 499P in Sunday’s WEC rookie test has nothing to do with driver selections for a third car.
“If Lilou Wadoux or Robert Schwartzman are in the rookie test in the Hypercar it’s because they are official drivers of Ferrari. It is normal to organize the rookie test with our drivers. It’s completely separate,” he pointed out.
Coletta said Ferrari still hasn’t decided whether or not it will carry out significant upgrades to the car for next season.
“We have not decided if we will spend the budget for the improvements on our car, or if we improve little parts without changing the homologation on the car,” he explained. “If we decide to change some consistent parts of the car, we will decide probably before January, but at the moment this is not in our plan.
“At the moment the car, we consider that it will be exactly the same for next year. For us our car is ‘OK’. We had a chance to demonstrate in the first part of the season that the car is probably not the best car, but it is not a bad car.”