Ferrari announces return to Le Mans after 50 years; will compete in FIA World Endurance Championship 2023

As the Italian automaker aims to continue their impressive record at Le Mans on their return, they could potentially rope in former Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen for the 2023 championship.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 26 February 2021 9:25 pm

Italian car-manufacturers Ferrari stunned the whole racing world as they confirmed their return to Le Mans after a 50-year absence. The Prancing Horse has started working on the development of the vehicle that will compete in the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship starting in 2023. While the design and simulation phases have begun, Ferrari confirmed that the name of the car and the drivers will be revealed later. In an interesting line-up of companies setting up LMH programmes for 2023, they will join the likes of Audi, Porsche and Honda’s Acura.

Ferrari’s Le Mans Hypercar programme

The Italian racing team has a very impressive record in closed-wheel competition. They have 24 world titles and 36 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ferrari has won the race outright nine times and has certainly enjoyed success in past. However, Ferrari's last official participation in the premier class of World Sports Car Championship can be dated to way back in 1973.

Ferrari President John Elkann talked about the rich-history of the Italian organization in the world of racing. He said, “In over 70 years of racing, on tracks all over the world, we led our closed-wheel cars to victory by exploring cutting-edge technological solutions: innovations that arise from the track and make every road car produced in Maranello extraordinary.”

The 44-year-old was quite excited about the prospect of new LMH programme. He added, “With the new Le Mans Hypercar programme, Ferrari once again asserts its sporting commitment and determination to be a protagonist in the major global motorsport events”.

Kimi Raikkonen to join Ferrari in 2023?

The Iceman is one of the most popular names in the world of racing. He is one of the most successful Finnish drivers, with 21 Grand Prix victories in Formula One. Kimi Raikkonen, who currently races for Alfa Romeo in F1, has had a great history with Ferrari. He won the 2007 World Drivers’ Championship title with the Italian team. Kimi certainly enjoyed great success in his 8-year long career at Ferrari.

The 41-year-old also has the experience of competing in the World Rally Championship in 2010 and 2011. He has also driven an LMH (Peugeot 908 car) at Motorland Aragon in 2011 and had enjoyed the experience. He had also expressed his desire to compete in Le Mans at some point in his career. Kimi had said, “It would be great to do Le Mans. But if you race there, you should do some races as a test as well. It could be tricky to get all the schedules working well.”

Kimi eyeing the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’?

With Ferrari looking for an experienced driver for their 2023 challenger, Kimi could just be a perfect fit. Even Raikkonen would be quite keen to compete in Le Mans as it would give him an opportunity to win the elusive Triple Crown of Motorsport (24 Hours of Le Mans, Formula One World Championship and Monaco Grand Prix).

Kimi has already won the F1 Championship (2007) and Monaco GP (2005) in his career. A win at Le Mans would allow him to join an elite company of Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Fernando Alonso etc.