FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 28, 2019 Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
(Reuters) – Ferrari is exploring the possibility of entering the North American IndyCar series, its Formula One team principal Mattia Binotto said on Thursday.
Binotto said Formula One’s new budget cap of $145 million for teams from 2021 would lead to staff being made redundant and the Italian carmaker was looking at options to ensure its employees retain their jobs, albeit in a different field.
The budget cap had been set initially at $175 million but some teams had wanted a limit closer to $100 million to ensure the sport survives the COVID-19 crisis.
“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 told Sky Sports Italia.
“For this reason we have started to evaluate alternative programs and I confirm that we are looking at IndyCar, which is currently a very different category from ours.
“At Ferrari we were structuring ourselves based on the budget approved last year ($175 million), and the further reduction represents an important challenge that will inevitably lead to review staff, structure and organisation.”
American Mario Andretti, one of four men to win both the Formula One and IndyCar drivers championships, said this week that he would love to see Ferrari as both an engine supplier and a chassis builder in IndyCar.
Binotto said Ferrari was also looking at endurance racing as another option.
“We also observe the world of endurance racing and other series,” he added. “We will try to make the best choice.”
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond