Today, Maserati announced its fastest electrified vehicle yet, when it revealed that it would be joining the 9th season of Formula E racing, bringing the iconic trident brand back to single seater competition for the first time in more than 60 years!
Maserati’s first appearance in motorsport was at the 1926 Targa Florio, an open road endurance race through the Sicilian mountains. The car won its class with Alfieri Maserati behind the wheel, and set the stage for what could, arguably, be called Maserati’s greatest triumph: the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1957 Formula 1 world championship.
Maserati made some more history before retiring from single-seat and “formula” competition, too – most notably in 1958, when a Maserati last qualified for a Formula 1 race in the hands of “the first lady of F1”, Maria Teresa de Filippis.
The trident brand’s cars have raced in other series since then, of course, with the 1990s’ mid-engined Barchetta (an early pioneer of the single-make spec series concept that has become popular in the years since), and the MC12 (which took 14 titles in FIA GT competition between 2004 and 2010) being the two most notable examples.
Maserati CEO Davide Grasso hopes to take advantage of “the pressure cooker of world-class motorsport” to drive the performance, innovation, and prestige of its “Maserati Folgore” fully-electric vehicle line forward. “We are very proud to be back where we belong as protagonists in the world of racing,” he said, in the FIA’s launch statement. “We are powered by passion and innovative by nature. We have a long history of world-class excellence in competition and we are ready to drive performance in the future.”
The company’s return to racing was announced by the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s official Twitter account (below)
Maserati is the first Italian car brand to officially enter Formula E, and success there could lead other storied Italian brands to join in as well – especially Ferrari, who have expressed an interest in exploring motorsports outside of Formula 1 in a bid to keep their engineering staff employed in the face of F1’s new “cost cap” regulations that will slash the team’s budget from an estimated $463 million in 2019 to “just” $140 million in 2022.
I, for one, would love to see a replay of the early days of F1, with Stellantis stablemates Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Lancia lining up alongside Ferrari and all of them competing with each other – with maybe a Lotus or two thrown in for good measure. Here’s hoping.
As for what the new Forumla E Maserati will look like when it hits the track, that’s anybody’s guess. But, if it looks at all like Daniel Crossman’s 2018 concept livery, below, it will definitely be a winner.
Source | Images: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Behance.
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