Maserati returns to racing by joining Formula E

Grasso called the return to motorsport a “really critical movement because it’s part of the brand’s DNA.” He went on to say, “Maserati was born out of racing and without racing Maserati wouldn’t be a complete brand. So that was absolutely an integral part of our strategy over the past two and a half years. [with] everything in life you have to be prepared and ready to compete and win, and now is a good time to step in and take a step. So now we have the technology, now we have the innovation, now we have the partner with Formula E. “

The appeal of Formula E, according to Grasso, is that the electric championship is “where the global dynamics go, for consumer dynamics; sport, fashion is changing in that part of the competition, if you will.”

Grasso continued, “If you look at it, we’ve spent quite a bit of time with Alejandro and his team in the field and we’ve seen how they engage with the cities that they compete in, the list of cities that they are competing in. they are competing, competing in the city center and with the technology in electrification and the kind of spirit they bring to the competition.

“It’s very fresh, it’s very current, and it’s very close to how people envision mobility. And it’s also in key cultural hotspots for different parts of the world, it’s a very comprehensive initiative, so it’s the combination of all of these things is what drove us to make this decision, ”added Grasso.“ It’s a very natural decision for us and we’re very excited [to be] join Formula E. “

There is an empty team slot currently open in Formula E, and the possibility of a second if Mercedes entry withdraws altogether, as ABT did when Audi left, rather than reverting back to HWA privateers, as Andretti did without BMW. Grasso has postponed questions of whether Maserati will build a full factory effort from scratch or seek to partner with an existing FE team.

“We have plans that we are ready to announce, especially teams and team members and everything related to the management and execution of this move,” he explained. “But today we would really like to focus on the return of the brand in racing and more particularly in partnership with Formula E.”

Finot confirmed that Maserati’s entry was not intending to replace automaker DS from Stellantis in the championship, claiming that both brands were ‘icebreakers’ and as such, ” it is very important for these brands to have this tech lab knowing that we want to do the software development both for the brands and especially for the software, because that would, of course, be managed by a different team with a different strategy , a different proposition. They would therefore be competitors. “

And that doesn’t mean they’ll adopt a VW Group LMDh strategy of fundamentally identical cars. Finot said that “what has been developed in Formula E, but also in WEC for Peugeot can be used for other brands in business development with our technology platform. But we will of course keep the specificity in motorsport for brands. For example, for Maserati it is a big power car, the Gen3 with 350 kW on the rear axle, using both the front axle and the rear axle is 600 kW, so it is close to the type of powertrain we would use for Maserati road cars. “

“It’s interesting to have this bridge between racing and road cars,” Finot added. “We will also have specific software developments, but adapted to the Maserati driving of Maserati vehicles, the dynamics. We therefore have skills that could be used for certain programs, we also have a certain architecture but also a lot of specificities, in line with [the] the brand’s DNA and the evolution of the brand’s technological expectations in terms of innovation. “

Maserati said it has yet to define the details of the drivers, although this is currently under discussion. Its entry into Formula E marks the first new motorsport program for a former Fiat Chrysler brand since the formation of Stellantis.

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Margie D. Carlisle