A sigh of relief in Formula E: After the electric racing series recently had to cope with a number of manufacturer exits, there is finally a well-known newcomer to report. Just in time for the debut of the new cars in 2023, Maserati will launch with the help of Stellantis sister DS.
It was one of the worse kept secrets in racing. There have been rumors about Maserati entering Formula E for several weeks. The return of the Italian dream car brand to motorsport has been official since Tuesday (11 January). The Stellantis subsidiary, founded in 1914, will start in Formula E from 2023 - just in time for the racing debut of the so-called "Gen3".
There you will, among other things, compete against the group competition from DS Automobiles, which committed itself to the new, powerful vehicle generation early on. Accordingly, it makes sense to use the same technical basis for the drive. The first Italian brand in Formula E history has not yet announced any details about the team structure. Maserati CEO Davide Grasso is delighted: "We are very proud to be returning to the world of motorsport as a protagonist."
New brand strategy
The new motorsport project is part of a larger transformation of the brand towards e-mobility. The Italians plan to significantly expand their portfolio with electric drives in the near future. Formula E offers the right and relatively inexpensive marketing basis for this. Jean-Marc Finot, Senior VP, Stellantis Motorsport, explains: "The use of Maserati in Formula E will be our technical laboratory with which we will advance the development of electrified powertrains and the software in our production sports cars."
The manufacturers who have so far registered for the new car generation with up to 350 kW of power argued similarly. After the exits of Audi and BMW after season 7, and Mercedes after the soon to begin eighth season, major works will continue to be involved with DS, Jaguar, Nissan and Porsche. There are also the up-and-coming brands NIO and Mahindra. The future field will be rounded off by strong private teams.
Great history, long dry spells
Maserati's motorsport history began 96 years ago when the Tipo 26 entered the Targa Florio in 1926. Alfieri Maserati himself won the class with engines up to 1.5 liters displacement. 31 years later, Juan Manuel Fangio became world champion behind the wheel of a Maserati 250F – it was the fifth and final title win for the iconic Argentine.
Largely unknown in Europe, but no less impressive, were the two Indy 500 victories of a Maserati 8CTF in 1939 and 1940. The last major highlight in single-seater racing - apart from customer engines - was to be Maria Teresa de Filippis' successful single-seater 1 race qualification in 1958.
In the recent past, Maserati was mainly active in GT racing. The last real works car called MC12 collected 14 manufacturer, driver and team titles in the FIA GT and GT1 series between 2004 and 2010. The Italians also celebrated three overall victories at the 24 Hours of Spa. It will be over a year before you can build on this success in Formula E. The current season starts on January 28th and 29th in Saudi Arabia.