Ferrari will return to the top tier of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2023, under the new Hypercar rules. With this, the Italian carmaker will be looking to secure outright victory at the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time since 1965.
- Ferrari to enter WEC’s new Hypercar category in 2023
- Has started design and simulation work on the new hypercar project
- Looking to add to its tally of nine outright Le Mans wins
Ferrari working on new Le Mans Hypercar challenger
The Italian firm has started development of a new machine to meet the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) rules that are being introduced for the top class of the WEC this season. Ferrari said that it has begun "design and simulation" work on the new LMH project but has yet to confirm any technical details of the project or any drivers.
While Ferrari has run GTE-class endurance racers in recent years, this will be the first time that it has competed in the top class of the category since it tackled the World Sports Car Championship in 1973. It has taken nine outright Le Mans victories, but the last of these was with the 250LM back in 1965.
Ferrari president, John Elkann said, “With the new Le Mans Hypercar programme, Ferrari once again asserts its sporting commitment and determination to be a protagonist in the major global motorsport events.”
Why has Ferrari decided to enter Le Mans Hypercar?
Ferrari's motorsport focus has largely been on its Formula 1 team in recent years, but with strict cost caps and staff limits being introduced into that category this year, the firm has been looking for other opportunities to utilise staff whom it would otherwise have had to make redundant.
Competing in the WEC will also allow Ferrari to showcase and develop hybrid powertrain technology that could have greater road relevance with future models.
New WEC rules
Ferrari is the latest in a string of manufacturers to sign up for the new regulations. Toyota will continue in the category this year. Additionally, Peugeot, Audi and Porsche are all due to join in the coming seasons.
The top class of the WEC and Le Mans will now be open to cars built to the new Hypercar rules (such as the Toyota GR010 Hybrid), the LMDh rules (that Porsche’s 2023 hybrid prototype challenger will be based on), and adapted LMP1 cars. A Balance of Performance (BoP) system based around energy usage and weight will be used to adjust the performance of each car on a race-by-race basis.