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Ferrari Rules Out Near-Term Expansion of 499P Program

Antonello Coletta rules out fourth 499P for 2025; No. 83 AF Corse car to continue next year…

Photo: Charly Lopez/DPPI

Ferrari has ruled out a near-term expansion of its 499P program, while confirming its intention to maintain a three-car FIA World Endurance Championship effort next year.

The Italian marque’s global head of endurance Antonello Coletta says the focus is on “consolidating” its existing three entries for 2025 after taking the decision to field a third, satellite AF Corse entry alongside the two factory 499Ps in this year’s WEC.

Ferrari factory drivers Yifei Ye and Robert Shwartzman are part of the crew for the third-string No. 83 car alongside AF Corse-contracted pilot Robert Kubica, with the trio enjoying a long spell in the lead in the early stages at Le Mans before dropping out late on with a hybrid system problem.

While highlighting the benefits of the No. 83 car, Coletta said Ferrari currently has no plans to implement a fourth car.

“We made a huge effort this year in order to implement a third car,” he told reporters earlier this month at Le Mans. “We made this decision in mid-November, early December.

“The third car was a further complication, but we are happy with this decision because we have the chance of collecting more data. 

“We can have young drivers who are part of our team next to a senior driver. And so we can let them grow, we can identify their potential. And the same holds true for mechanics, for engineers.

“The fact of having a satellite team is certainly helpful for us and it is an additional chance for the final result. 

“In terms of future plans, I would say the third car is confirmed [for 2025], it’s going to be there in the future too. 

“For the time being, we are not planning any additional efforts. We want to consolidate the existing package.”

Asked by Sportscar365 whether Ferrari could consider a customer car to a client other than AF Corse in the future, Coletta was keen to emphasize the autonomy of the current No. 83 crew but didn’t discount the prospect completely. 

“The team of the third car is already a separate team,” said Coletta. 

“I called it a satellite team because as far as the powertrain is concerned, we need the engineering support by Ferrari as is the case for the other manufacturers, I think. Apart from that, the team is 100 percent independent and autonomous. 

“But it’s further help when you have to finalize the car, when you have to make decisions in this respect because in any case, you always work in cooperation as is the case for all the teams that drive with cars manufactured by us. This also happened in the GT world. 

“The relationship between Ferrari and the teams using and driving Ferrari products is extremely tight. We are in constant contact with one another. 

“We are a large family. We exchange data. There are no secrets. But for us, these are all opportunities and not threats. And opportunities need to be grasped and exploited. 

“We shouldn’t also forget that they are clients and so they need to be respected and they need to be supported as best we can.”

Coletta has previously suggested that a 499P being entered for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is not under active consideration by Ferrari.

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

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