Antonello Coletta, head of Ferrari Endurance and Corse Clienti, has revealed that Ferrari is willing to support a third 499P Hypercar for the FIA WEC.
Coletta, speaking at the end of the 2023 Ferrari Finali Mondiali at Mugello, said the support for a third top-class 499P could come as early as next season, if not then 2025.
“We considered the possibility after Le Mans and whilst our primary concentration is on better performances and more wins in the FIA WEC, we now feel ready to say that we would be able to support, with the necessary technical package, a program for a third car,” he said.
Ferrari has repeatedly made it clear that the complexities of the 499P would require significant factory technical input for any customer team wishing to run the car.
Ferrari sources later told RACER that this support would not be for a third factory car, but instead for a privately-entered effort. This would be a possibility only in the FIA WEC at present, though it could be for a full-season entry rather than a Le Mans-only car.
What about IMSA, where currently no LMH-spec cars are competing in GTP. The answer was pretty unequivocal. There will be no Ferrari GTP effort in IMSA, or in one-off races, in 2024.
Stateside Ferrari fans should be encouraged by this development, though. By supporting a car beyond its two-pronged factory effort, this represents a change in direction for future seasons and comes in the wake of the full reveal of the 499P Modificata, a track-only unrestricted hypercar based off the Le Mans-winning race car.
As for which team or teams are in the fray to run a third 499P in the WEC, no firm plans are known as yet, though it seems unlikely that such a statement would have been made if there was no prospect of a program.
Rumours have been circulating for some time of the potential for the current AF Corse-Richard Mille Racing GTE AM effort to ‘graduate’ to Hypercar. It is therefore particularly intriguing that official Ferrari factory driver Lilou Wadoux (who currently competes in the Richard Mille 488 GTE) is testing the factory 499P at the Bahrain ‘Rookie’ test on Sunday.