Ferrari open to future Formula E entry

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Ferrari is open to entering Formula E in the future, with company CEO Sergio Marchionne confirming a possible move has been discussed at Maranello.

Formula E is currently embarking on its third season, with the all-electric series currently boasting involvement from Renault, Audi, BMW and Jaguar.

Mercedes announced last month that it had secured an option on an entry for season five (2018/2019), and Ferrari is now considering following suit.

Speaking in a phone conference reviewing Ferrari’s performance on the New York Stock Exchange, Marchionne said that Formula E was on the marque’s radar, but added that the series must develop before an entry can seriously be considered.

“The answer is yes,” Marchionne said when asked about if entering Formula E had been discussed, as quoted by Autosport. “I have agonized over with this with my colleagues here in Ferrari for quite a while.

“I’m going to give you two answers to the problem. If Formula E requires people to change cars during a race because we exhaust the power available within a given car, that is not something that Ferrari would naturally gravitate to.

“Secondly, the standardization associated with the electric car is something which runs against the grain of Ferrari because otherwise it will prevent [Ferrari] from playing whatever it is that it does technically on a vehicle.

“It is possible that [after] some level of maturity that Ferrari would develop a unique set of skills that will make that car uniquely Ferrari, in an environment like that, but I know we are not there today.”

The Formula E grid is capped at its current number of 10 teams until season five, when another two can join.

With Mercedes already snapping up an option on one of the entries, just one remains up for grabs should Ferrari jump in for 2018. However, in light of Marchionne’s comments and the technical roadmap for the series, joining at a later date would appear more realistic for the Italian marque.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.