Ferrari shelve ‘short-term’ IndyCar interest

Date published: February 3 2021

Ferrari

Ferrari have ruled out joining the IndyCar Series in the “short term” now they have sent some of their Formula 1 staff to Haas.

When Formula 1’s new budget cap was finalised, set at $145m for the season, Ferrari, along with Formula 1’s other top spending teams Mercedes and Red Bull, knew they would need to make drastic cuts to their workforce.

And one of the options Ferrari looked to explore was entering another racing category so their staff could be redeployed to that new programme.

IndyCar Series owner Roger Penske previously revealed talks with Ferrari were being held about a possible entry into the category from 2022.

“We’re looking at potentially adding other manufacturers,” said Penske when appearing on the Brick-by-Brick Sirius XM podcast last year.

“You’ve probably heard it, there have been discussions with Ferrari.

“[Ferrari] might be interested in joining the series, coming in 2022 when we have new engine rules.

“That would be a great asset, to have a third manufacturer in the series.”

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However, Ferrari have instead sent a chunk of their staff to work with Haas, a close associate of the Maranello outfit.

Perhaps the most high-profile departure was Simone Resta, who left his position at the head of the Ferrari chassis department to join Haas.

In the short term, the staff reshuffle has shelved any possible Ferrari IndyCar entry, although team principal Mattia Binotto did confirm talks had taken place with Penske.

“We have been discussing Indy[Car],” Binotto is quoted as saying by GPFans.

“We have been in contact with them and decided certainly in the short-term that it will not be the case [joining the series] because it represents an investment and we need to stay focused on F1.

But Binotto made it clear this is not a complete discarding of interest in IndyCar. In fact, in the “medium to long term” it’s an interest Ferrari may well rekindle.

“But discussions are still going on. Maybe more in the medium/long-term, I think why not? But today, still, our main focus and priority is F1,” he said.

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