Ferrari has acquired the services of acclaimed navigator Giovanni Soldini as they announced a new racing venture in sailing.
An F1 team taking to the seas is not unusual, with Mercedes having long been associated with the America’s Cup alongside team owner INEOS – while Red Bull also has a sailing outfit.
But it is a big step for Ferrari, who will be going off track for the first time in their 77-year history.
Ferrari to move into sailing as part of company expansion
The move into sailing follows the Ferrari plan of late with the Italian team having also returned to endurance racing last season, which included a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
But sailing is an altogether different venture and, to help in that regard, they have acquired the services of Giovanni Soldini. The Italian had long been a part of Maserati but the Italian brand stopped its sailing efforts after 11 years in the sport.
Soldini has twice raced around the world and comes with 30 years of experience in solo and crewed competitions.
He said: “I am thrilled to start this new adventure with Ferrari. We are working on an important and cutting-edge project with amazing technological potential that brings together different worlds and skills of the highest level.
“Working with an exceptional team in the research and development of innovative solutions that are respectful of our environment is a truly unique experience.”
Soldini has also set historical records, including the Golden Route from New York to San Francisco in 2013 (13,225 miles in 47 days, 42 minutes, and 29 seconds), the Cape2Rio distance record in 2014, and the Hong Kong-London route record in 2018 (15,083 actual miles in 36 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes and 12 seconds).
Ferrari has not announced which sailing competition it is they plan to enter but chairman John Elkann hoped it would push the brand “beyond current boundaries.”
“We are about to embark on an exciting journey that will expand our racing soul,” he said. “With this new competitive challenge, motivated by our innovative capacity and commitment to sustainability, we will push beyond current boundaries.
“We are happy to be able to count on Giovanni, who is extraordinary in terms of experience, determination, and team spirit.”