The prospect of slashing costs is further complicated for Ferrari by Italian politics and redundancy laws, so a combination of spending less on F1 and sidestepping trouble on the home front by transferring staff to another project made this sports car return not just feasible but arguably essential. It’s funny how things turn out.
Will McLaren join?
To turn the excitement amp all the way up to 11, it’s looking likely that McLaren could also be heading back to Le Mans, possibly for 2024. When I asked McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown recently what chance of a return for the firm that won Le Mans in 1995 with the F1 GTR, his reply was “decent”.
“It’s under review and has been for quite some time,” he said. “It’s something we would like to do.” Unlike Ferrari, McLaren would echo Audi and Porsche by choosing the LMP2-based Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDh) regulations over the parallel LMH class.
“We would only do LMDh, because LMH doesn’t have a cost control element to it, whereas LMDh does,” said Brown. “I’m a little concerned over the LMH and LMDh balancing [of performance]. That being said, the fact that Porsche and Audi have come in gives us confidence, because they know how to win at Le Mans, and they will make sure that there’s balance of performance between the two types of cars.
“If we were to enter, it would be for 2024. And in order to be ready, I need to make a decision some time in the middle of this year.”
Brown clearly wants to do it. And when he wants something, he tends to get it.