After reviewing its budget cap, Ferrari is seriously considering pulling out from Formula 1 and moving to IndyCar instead.
Team principal Mattia Binotto revealed in an interview that The Prancing Horse brand has both the IndyCar series and top level of the World Endurance Championship in its sights as replacement for their F1 participation after finding budget limitations in the latter series disagreeable.
F1 moved to cap its 2021 budget from US$175 million to US$145 million — a reduction of US$30 million. The cap, set to be implemented next year, is designed to help teams struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the cancellation if not postponement of much of this year’s F1 races.
FIA has stated early on in the COVID-19 pandemic that it was ready to implement drastic measures against the outbreak to protect principals and interests.
As one of the better-funded teams, Ferrari is rejecting the proposal because it fears it will lead to the layoff of a significant number of its workers.
“Ferrari feels a lot of social responsibility towards its employees, and we want to be sure that for each of them there will be a workspace in the future,” Binotto said in a televised interview.
Binotto also cited F1’s decision to introduce hybrid engines beginning 2022 as part of his company’s hesitation to align itself with the F1 circuit any further.
"We will try to make the best choice,” Binotto assured.
Mario Andretti, the famed Italian-born driver who has won titles in both F1 and IndyCar, is one of the prominent voices expressing support for Ferrari’s pending decision.
If Ferrari’s planned move pushes through, it will be the Italian marque’s second attempt at racing in the US. Back in 1986, owner Enzo Ferrari built a car specifically for the American CART series. The move was seen as Ferrari’s defiance to F1’s impending engine regulations at that time.
Though Ferrari’s CART car was completed and fully track-tested, it never raced under the Ferrari name in any competition, stateside or otherwise.
Photos from Ferrari